Every win of Croatia’s, whether it was during the group stage against Argentina or in the semi-final against England, was considered an upset. The underdogs of the tournament knocked England out of the FIFA World Cup 2018 and put ‘it’s coming home’ chants to bed. Modrić, the skipper of Croatia, has been instrumental in the midfield along with Ivan Rakitic. His leadership has ensured Croatia’s entry into their first-ever World Cup final.
Dismissing the Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi debate for Ballon d’Or this year, Twitterati have instead demanded it for Modrić irrespective of the result in the final against France.
A genius. A leader. A warrior. Luka Modric should absolutely win the Ballon d’Or. pic.twitter.com/sS9FLHwzOC
— Kevin Egan (@kev_egan) July 11, 2018
I absolutely hate Ballon d’Or talk but no matter what happens in the final, just give it to Modric this year.
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) July 11, 2018
— Akinboye Akinpelumi (@pelumi_akinboye) July 11, 2018
If #CRO go on to win the World Cup, maybe even if they don’t, then Modric has to be in with a shout at the Ballon d’Or depending on how he starts next season. What a footballer.
— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) July 11, 2018
Modric for Ballon D’or
Argue with your father in hell
— 127.0.0.1 (@OnimoleOfLagos) July 11, 2018
— Ben Hayward (@bghayward) July 11, 2018
I think it’s finally time to say this. Modric Ballon D’or pic.twitter.com/fCsjLBjLmY
— Nadim (@nadimrmeity) July 11, 2018
Modrić’s game by numbers vs. England:
2 chances created
Highest final third pass accuracy (92%)
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) July 11, 2018
Luka Modric is easily player of tourno and IMO should win Ballon D’Or ..
He won’t – cos he doesn’t score goals – but he should regardless.
Luka = !?!
— Jessica Fishlock (@JessFishlock) July 11, 2018
Congratulations to Croatia. Given their tiny population, it’s an incredible achievement to make the World Cup final. Modric simply must win the Ballon d’Or this year now whatever happens in the final. There has been no more influential player for club and country in 2018 #ENGCRO
— Carlo Garganese (@carlogarganese) July 11, 2018
#FIFAWorldCup It’s going to be refreshing to see a new Ballon D’or winner after a decade of dominance of Messi and #Ronaldo over it. Regardless of the result in the #WorldCup final Luka Modric should win it. Best midfielder in the world right now by a fair margin. #SportsForAll
— Rakhi Sharma (@RakhiKSharma) July 12, 2018
Rakitic: “It’s time for Modric to win Ballon d’Or.” pic.twitter.com/3ALRzGMtWw
— Barca Universal (@BarcaUniversal) July 11, 2018
However, the 32-year-old responded, “I’m not thinking of the Ballon d’Or. Croatia’s success is more important to me than that.”
Croatian players used the criticism of English media as motivation against England in the semi-final. Modrić was not happy about being written off even before the clash. He told beIN SPORTS,
“Their journalists and pundits on television were talking prior to this match about us being tired, being the walking dead. Those words from them gave us even more eagerness to prove them wrong. They should be more humble and respectful. When you play a semi-final, it is impossible to be tired. You know how much is at stake. We showed that. Apart from against Argentina, that was our best game.”
Croatia gave the perfect reply to the criticism with their sublime footballing skills. The Real Madrid star midfielder hopes for a fairytale end to their World Cup journey against France.