Former Ballon D’Or winner and ever present midfield maestro Luka Modric has said his Croatian side are ready to stop Messi and Argentina tomorrow in the first semi-final game of the ongoing FIFA World Cup.
Argentina will face Croatia tomorrow but the skipper of the 2018 finalist Luka Modric believes his side are ready to enter back to back finals for the first time in their history.
Croatia came from behind to beat five times record winner Brazil on penalties in the quarter-finals and will be playing another South American side Argentina who are hoping to win the title for the first time since the famous Diego Maradona masterpiece in 1986.
Argentina also had to be resilient to scale pass a fighting Dutch side after a 2-2 draw in regular time, sent them to penalties with the brilliance of Eminialo Martinez securing the semi-final for them.
Croatia and Argentina will clash at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Tuesday night (December 13) for a place in the final. The matchup between Modric and Messi is set to be one of the key battles with both former Ballon D’Or winners fighting to lead their team to the finals.
Speaking ahead of the match tomorrow, Modric said that “Argentina are a big team. I don’t just want to play against one player. Of course, Leo Messi is very big, their best player, and we’re going to have a lot of difficulties to stop him, but we’re prepared, and we’re going to give it our all. Let’s go to try to make the best match of the tournament of our lives. I hope it will be enough to be in the final.”
Skipper of the Argentine squad, Lionel Messi has also showed utmost respect for Croatia. Messi is vying to win the ultimate prize for his country and this may be his last chance to do so.
“Croatia showed that they are a great team,” Messi said. “At times, they played on an equal footing with Brazil. They are a team that has been working with the same coach for a long time, and they know each other well.”
Croatia and Argentina have locked horns five times so far, with 12 goals scored between the two teams. Both teams have won two games apiece with the latest one being a 3-0 victory to Croatia, while one ended in a goalless draw.