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Is Modric ready for international retirement? Real Madrid superstar addresses future with Croatia

10:02 AM EST 12/8/22
Luka Modric Croatia 2022 World Cup
Luka Modric is giving little away when it comes to international retirement plans, with Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic eager for him to play on.
  • Ballon d'Or winner is 37 years of age
  • Has over 150 caps for his country
  • Gracing another World Cup in 2022

WHAT HAPPENED? The Real Madrid playmaker is now 37 years of age and has taken in 159 appearances for his country – with at least one more to come as he prepares for a quarter-final clash with Brazil at the 2022 World Cup. There have been suggestions that said outing could be Modric’s last in a famous chequered jersey, but the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner insists he has made no definitive decision on his future.

WHAT THEY SAID: Quizzed on whether the time has come to walk away from the Croatia fold, Modric said: “I am not focused so much on the future. I will see how long I can play for the national team and I am 100 per cent focused on what’s ahead of us at the World Cup. We will have time to reflect on the future.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: While Modric is playing cards close to his chest, Dalic has made it clear that he wants to see a talismanic presence continue to put himself up for selection. Croatia’s boss has said: “I will repeat again, whatever I say about Luka Modric, it will not be enough. I have said everything I can, I hope he stays healthy. I am sure this is not his last competition that he will play for Croatia, and that he will be part of this team for years to come. His fitness, professionalism and attitude gives us the right to think that way. He is a very important part of our team.”

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Modric made his debut for Croatia in 2006 and helped them to reach the World Cup final in 2018. He has been working on rolling one-year deals at Real Madrid, leading to questions also being asked of his future at club level, but he remains a classy operator that does not look out of place among the best in the business.