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Modric: "They left us for dead, but we never gave up"


The Croatian number 10 leads his team to new semifinals in a World Cup and Tite announces that he is leaving the Brazilian team

Tite, the Brazil coach, made an effort not to break down when he announced that he was leaving the national team after completing the full cycle in two failed rounds at the World Cups.

He also said that Neymar did not take any penalties because he had saved him to take the last one, and by then Croatia had already qualified.

"[Neymar] didn't take it because the last penalty is the most important," he said, "and the players who take it must be the ones who are most mentally prepared."

The story ended with a whine after the penalty shootout.

But the game began to be decided away from the areas.

Zlatko Dalic, the Croatia coach, explained what had happened with the same simplicity with which the reality of football tends to take away the false expectations generated by advertising: a great midfield is always better than a great forward.

“Croatia beat Brazil because they have the best midfielders in the world,” Dalic said, pointing to Modric, Brozovic, Kovacic and Vlasic.

“With his passes, his controls and his interceptions we hid the ball from the rival.

When they took the ball from us, we blocked them.

When we broke into attack we didn't create many chances but they were enough”.

"Modric was the head of our team for 120 minutes," he observed.

“He never got tired, he never got behind on plays.

When he finished regulation time we asked him if he was okay and he told us that he was ready to play overtime.

And he also scored the penalty! ”.

Modric was exultant.

"They left us for dead," he said, "but we showed that we never gave up."

The Madrid midfielder, who received the Ballon d'Or after the World Cup in Russia for leading Croatia to the final with two extra time included, congratulated his goalkeeper, Dominik Livakovic, for stopping 10 of the 11 shots on target that Brazil took before the penalties.

"He has been impressive again," the captain praised him, after recalling that the goalkeeper had just saved three penalties against Japan in the round of 16.

"Only we Croats can do this," Dalic exalted.

“We have a very strong character and we don't give up.

We were prepared for everything.

It was important not to concede a goal early on.

That's how it was, and when we got to the penalty shootout we already felt like winners.

Dominik saved the first penalty, against Rodrygo, and gave us confidence because the Brazilians were frightened and thought that he would save more shots”.

“We always knew that we could win the match,” said Mislav Orsic.

“Even after conceding 1-0, we always thought that the game could be won.

We were calm.

Now we are proud."

At 29, serene as someone who has just finished their shift in the office, the author of the pass to Petkovic in the goal that tied the game —the only Croatian shot between the three sticks— was not pretending.

He was hardly sweating, after eliminating Neymar's Brazil, a great favourite, drowned in Modric's midfield.

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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2022-12-09

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