In the latest Croatia news, Ivan Rakitic has described his international team-mate Luka Modric as the country’s “best player ever” ahead of their last-16 World Cup showdown against Denmark.
Croatia have been one of the most impressive sides so far in Russia, topping Group C with three wins from three, and they are highly fancied to get past the Danes in Nizhny Novgorod this weekend.
Zlatko Dalic’s side saw off Nigeria 2-0, Argentina 3-0 – in one of the stand-out performances of the tournament so far – and Iceland 2-1 in the group stage, with Modric, Rakitic and Ivan Perisic among those catching the eye.
Real Madrid star Modric is respected as one of the best midfielders around and now Barcelona’s Rakitic has put his club rivalry to one side to proclaim the former Spurs man a Croatia legend.
He said: “Not only is Luka the best player ever for Croatia, but he is a great person, a leader, and we are following him.”
Dalic is also well aware just how important the 32-year-old is to his side and knows he has a huge effect on everyone around him as Croatia, who are 9/4 to reach the semis this year with Coral, look to emulate or improve on their achievement from 1998 when they managed to finish third in the 1998 World Cup in France.
The Croatia head coach added: “When Modric plays, he makes other people better. Other people have more trust in themselves when Modric is on the pitch.”