Modric says he’ll keep playing for Croatia after Qatar World Cup

Captain, 37, says he will continue international career after Croatia clinches third spot in tournament in Qatar.

Luka Modric
Luka Modric celebrates after collecting his bronze medal [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Croatia captain Luka Modric is not ready to hang up his football boots just yet.

The 37-year-old midfield general, shortly after leading the national team to victory at the third-place playoff of the World Cup in Qatar, said he will continue to play for Croatia in the Nations League matches next year.

“About my future, I don’t know if I will be [playing] until the [2024] Euro in Germany, we will see,” he told BeIn Sports after Croatia’s 2-1 win over Morocco at Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday.

“I need to go step by step. I’m enjoying the national team, I feel happy, I still think I can perform on a high level and I want to continue until at least the Nations League,” the Read Madrid player said.

“After that, there will be more time to think about the Euro – but now, it’s go step by step and continue until at least the Nations League, and after we will see.”

Croatia vs Morocco,
Modric with Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic praised Modric’s “fantastic job” in Qatar.

“He’s our captain, he’s our big boss,” he said.

“He played fantastic this tournament. He’s 37 years, but he played like a 20/25-year-old. He’s our leader. Everyone follows him,” added Dalic.

“Some people think this is the end, but I think he will stay with Croatia for a long time.”

Croatia assistant coach Ivica Olic also said he was “100 percent sure” Modric would be in the squad if fit.

Spain, Italy and the Netherlands have also qualified for the final four of the Nations League, with the semifinals scheduled for June 14-15, 2023, with the final taking place on June 18.

A draw on January 25 will determine the semifinals pairings.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies