DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Luka Modric is going to win the World Cup again Campaign to lead Croatia all the way to the title.
The 37-year-old midfielder will captain Croatia when they play in their opening Group F match against Morocco on Wednesday, a hurdle the 2018 runners-up is expected to clear easily before facing Canada and then facing 2-seeded Belgium and France. Kevin De Bruyne.
Four years ago, Modric worked tirelessly and was named player of the tournament as Croatia reached the final, where they lost 4-2 to France.
Only five of the players who started the 2018 final are in Croatia’s squad after coach Zlatko Dalic’s rebuilding. The constant is Modric, who remains central to everything Croatia do and arguably more important to his team’s chances than Lionel Messi for Argentina. and Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal.
The Real Madrid player confirmed that this tournament will mark the end of his 16-year international career.
It will be an early match against the Moroccans in Al Khor, north of Doha, where the temperature is expected to rise 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) as the match kicks off. That heat shouldn’t be a problem against the North Africans, thanks to the cooling systems used in this year’s World Cup stadiums.
“The conditions here are better than I expected,” said Andrej Kramaric, the Croatia striker who was a substitute in the 2018 final. “And given the air conditioning in the stadiums, it (may) cool down during matches.”
The atmosphere in the Moroccan camp also deteriorated significantly after a heated dispute between former coach Wahid Halilodzic and Chelsea striker Hakim Ziyech. It witnessed Ziyash’s banishment from the team last year because of what Khalilodzic described as his “unacceptable” position.
And she threatened to move to Morocco, which is in dire need of all the talents abroad, due to the lack of one of its best players in the World Cup. Halilhodzic was dismissed, despite Morocco’s qualification for the World Cup, and replaced by Walid Rekragui, who promptly recalled Ziyech.
Ziyash hit the ground quickly and scored a stunning goal from his own half in Morocco’s last preparations before the World Cup.
But the coaching shift did not come until the end of August, giving Regracki, who had never been an international coach before, just two full months to make his biggest mark on a team that was already expected to struggle at the World Cup, particularly against Croatia. and Belgium.
That may not be enough time for the 47-year-old to make something special out of Morocco, who have only managed a group-stage exit once, in the 1986 World Cup.
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