Croatia v England: Gareth Southgate on 'strange' experience at HNK Rijeka Stadium

Paola Ditto
Ottobre 12, 2018

"But he's already one of the best in the world".

The pair will do battle again tonight in a deserted Stadion Rujevica when the pair lead their sides in a Nations League rematch of their World Cup semi-final.

Luka Modric has reiterated his comments that the English media underestimated Croatia ahead of their World Cup semi-final in Russian Federation.

And while both Modric and coach Zlatko Dalic insist they're not accusing Southgate and his players of underestimating them, they're determined prove that was no lucky one-off.

The newly-crowned FIFA Best Men's player accused the media of failing to give Croatia the recognition they deserved in the build-up to July's 2-1 extra-time victory in Moscow.

"It was extra motivation for our team, even in a World Cup semi-final when you don't need extra motivation". That's how we felt.

"Is it a problem for England?".

"There's always a level of respect between the teams".

Another loss tonight would make Croatia overwhelming favourites to finish bottom of their three-team group and suffer relegation from the Nations League's highest level.

World Cup runners-up Croatia were thumped 6-0 in Spain last time out, a result Modric is keen to draw a line under against a strong England side in testing circumstances.

"This is an important game especially after Spain", said Modric.

"We want to be pushing ourselves to beat these teams as part of our progression".

"They have a lot of the same players, but, with some injuries, some new ones too".

Croatia have been forced to play the game behind closed doors, the second and final match of a UEFA sanction after a swastika was imprinted on the pitch ahead of a Euro 2016 qualifying match against Italy.

"It'll be tough", added Modric.

The crowd will be officially registered as zero but there are likely to be about 500 people in the stadium, with about 150 media expected and a maximum of 75 people per team delegation, including the players.

'Obviously it will be a different environment for me personally and a lot of the lads without having any fans here, but that's something that we can't control and it's down to what happened here in the past.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE