Lionel Messi-Luka Modrić, two virtuosos looking for the Cup

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‘The night Modrić is Messi’. Here are the daily Croatian headlines Sports news the day after Croatia won (3-0) against Argentina on June 21, 2018 on the second day of Group D of the World Cup in Russia. One night when the Albiceleste fell against the genius of Vatreni and his Madrid midfielder, scorer and man of the match on the lawn of Nizhni Novgorod. The embodiment of elegance, commitment and intelligence in the game, the boy from Zadar, executioner of Neymar’s Brazil in the quarter-finals, is preparing to write, a little more, his legend in front of the genius of Rosario, seven-time Ballon d ‘O and idol of a whole town. Since you can’t escape conflicts, it’s time to reunite.

Two kings for one throne!

At the Stade de Lusail, this Tuesday at 8 pm, the Cruyffs of the Balkans and Pulga, whom we happily call, will meet for a place in the final. Beyond the stakes raised by this confrontation, this semi-final is above all the chance to decide one of the two definitively. Two football artists, two historic rivals, two extraordinary competitors in search of a world title, for what seems to be their last chance. “I don’t know… I focus on the present moment, I don’t look at the future. Let’s see what happens after the semi-final.”admitted, in this view, the Croatian environment for brand before expressing his impatience on Spanish television.“I can’t wait to play another semi-final against a great team, that’s what I’m looking forward to, not just against one player. Of course, Leo is very tall, he is the best player among them, and it will be difficult for us to stop him, but we are ready and we will give everything. Hopefully that will be enough to make it to the final.”

Still flamboyant despite his 37 years, the Real Madrid midfielder is currently performing well. Given the master hand of Marcelo Brozović and Mateo Kovačić, Vatreni’s number 10 (160 caps, 23 goals) once again proved the full extent of his talent against the Seleção. Omnipresent in the rivalry, essential for the collective balance, technically difficult to handle, thus he plunged Neymar and his band into a spleen as deep as unexpected. Reference to his position, the genius of Zadar, at the head of an amazing record – with 5 Champions League, 4 Club World Cups, 4 European Super Cups, 3 Leagues, 4 Spanish Super Cups and 1 King’s Cup in particular – now is dreaming of the most prestigious trophy. History to write a little more of his legend and to close his immense career in apotheosis.

Two extraordinary races, two breathtaking awards!

The unfortunate finalist in the 2018 World Cup, Luka Modrić, passed by Dynamo Zagreb and Tottenham before joining the Merengues, has to get rid of his best enemy, Leo Messi, author of 4 goals and 2 assists since start of the contest. Two victories from the only title he lacks, the Paris Saint-Germain striker will leave him body and soul to avoid the slightest mistake in what should be his last international dance. Changed in selection since winning the Copa America 2021, the quadruple winner of the Champions League will now act as the head of a group of lieutenants who seem completely under his genius. Raised, by some observers, to the rank of the best player of all time, the 35-year-old Argentinian (170 caps, 95 goals) is more than ever and is ready to take the Albiceleste to the end. It was also the way for him to imitate another legend of Argentine football, Diego Maradona.

Pushed by thousands of Argentinians in search of a third star after in 1978 and 1986, Leo Messi will be thirsty for revenge against Luka Modric, who is about to qualify in a country of less than 4 million inhabitants for his second next World Cup final. Two captains, two number 10s, two leaders who maintain, moreover, a conspiratorial story. The main players in the historic rivalry between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, these two virtuosos, in fact, will dispute between 2012 and 2021 the Spanish trophies and the honors of many Clasicos. The emblematic moments between the two men began, in selection, on March 1, 2006. Launched into the deep end by Zlatko Kranjca, in St. Jakob Park, so Modrić appreciated the first flashes of Messi’s genius, scorer and passer , during this friendly match finally won by the wire of Croatia (3-2).

A combined story between two number 10!

In this confrontation, a few days before the start of the World Cup in Germany, the Croatian, then 20 years old, showed all his class against Juan Román Riquelme, Esteban Cambiasso, Hernán Crespo or Carlos Tévez. Having become, since this match in Basel, the master of the Vatreni game, Luka Modrić has gradually written his legend. Best player of the Croatian epic in Russia, executioner of the Albiceleste in the group stage, Ballon d’Or in 2018 and metronome of the Madrid midfield, the midfielder of the Balkans shines in its long life. A performance that left supporters, analysts and teammates speechless. “Today, everyone is impressed with the way he plays at his age and his approach, the best in twenty years. But everyone knows that it won’t last another twenty years. After every game played for Croatia, everyone says: Mamma mia, we should be happy to have Modrić.declared Robert Matteoni, co-author of the player’s autobiography, in the columns of The team.

Surrendered, Josip Juranović, he prefers to do metaphorically after the victory achieved against Brazil. “When Brozović, Modrić and Kovačić are in the game, we control 90% of the game. Passing the ball to them is safer than putting your money in the bank”. When asked about Merengue this Monday in a press conference, Lionel Scaloni, coach of the Albiceleste, also did not hide his admiration for the Croatian number 10. “We have analyzed Croatia a lot, they make things difficult for many teams. We are working to find out where we can attack and hurt them. It is a pleasure to be with Modric on the pitch and to see him play. Not only because of his talent, but with his humility and respect.”.

Against the Argentinians, the Vatreni will need their magician again to try to fulfill the dream of a son of Rosario to join the famous, Lothar Matthäus, among the players who played the most matches in the Cup of the world (25) . Crucified by the Croat’s bid and Karim Benzema’s hat-trick on March 9 in the Champions League round of 16 – for the final clash between the two men – Messi will be more than keen to win. recently. LM10 against LM10. A fight within a fight that promises to be legendary where one will hold the Grail, where one will cry, forever, a dream turned into a chimera.

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