Why His World Cup Final Appearance Solidifies Luka Modric’s Legacy as an Elite Midfielder

?Croatia’s appearance in the World Cup final was unprecedented. A country of just four million people, viewed as underdogs, dark horses and long shots throughout the competition, had silenced their doubters and reached the most important game in football. 

They were just one game away from footballing immortality, but ultimately fell short to a France side superior in talent, power and flair. Collectively France were quite easily the better team – but they did not have the best player on the pitch at their disposal.


Croatia’s achievement should not be underestimated, and spearheading their unlikely charge was Luka Modric. Often underappreciated despite being one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, Croatia’s first appearance in a World Cup final should see Modric established in an elite group of midfielders once his illustrious career winds down to a close.

A World Cup win would have seen Modric’s legacy compared to the likes of Andres Iniesta and Andrea Pirlo – both of whom won World Cups throughout their storied careers, although both did so with a team of a similar calibre to France. 

Modric has shown the world what he can do when surrounded by superstars, and should already be considered among the best midfielders to ever play the beautiful game. A trophy cabinet of four Champions League titles in five years with Real Madrid has seen the Croatia captain receive plaudits – but despite being a fixture in their recent Champions League success, Modric always seemed to be overshadowed by another superstar.

Croatia v Denmark: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

And while Ronaldo was destroying goalscoring records and Sergio Ramos was commanding the defence, Modric was ever-present in midfield alongside Toni Kroos. Modric’s accolades now include a World Cup Golden Ball after his impressive individual performances were finally recognised.

Argentina were outplayed by Modric and Croatia in the group stages, with the midfielder deployed further forward in a number 10 role. Modric’s outstanding performance was capped with a superb goal in a victory that showed that Croatia meant business at the World Cup.

And in the knockout stages of the tournament Modric played 120 minutes against Iceland and Denmark and 119 minutes against England. Pulling the strings from midfield and playing a starring role in every game, Modric almost pulled off the impossible.

Croatia v Denmark: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

He showed no signs of slowing down in the final against France as Croatia were arguably the better team over the 90 minutes, but it was ultimately not enough to pull off a shock victory. 

And although his career will not be capped off with a World Cup victory for his small country, his herculean performances in Russia has solidified his status as one of the greatest midfielders of this generation.  


Report Claims Chelsea Have Accepted €35m Bid for Belgium Star Thibaut Courtois

Chelsea have agreed to let star stopper Thibaut Courtois leave for ?Real Madrid this summer after accepting a €35m bid, according to reports in France.

The Belgian was the standout keeper in this year’s World Cup, capturing the tournament’s Golden Glove following several impressive outings between the sticks. And with Real Madrid having lost out in the chase for David de Gea, who has signed a new deal with Manchester United, they’ve switched their attention to the Chelsea man.

?RMC are now reporting that the transfer to Madrid is a done deal, with the Blues having accepted €35m for the stopper, who will sign a four-year deal with Los Blancos.

“€35m agreement between Chelsea & Real Madrid for the transfer of Thibaut Courtois, 4-year contract, according to RMC,” Get French Football News tweeted on Tuesday.

Courtois recently suggested that Chelsea would likely have to improve their wage offer if they want him to stay as his performances in the World Cup have increased his value.


“I will go back and I will see what they want and how they say it,” he said after the tournament ended. “Obviously, with this World Cup, I think what was on the table is different than what I can have.

“In this World Cup, I have ignored all the speculation, all the rumours. But now, in the next few days, I will have a chat with my agent and see what Chelsea told him, and then we will talk. But I feel happy at Chelsea, it’s not that I necessarily want to leave.”


‘The Greatest Ever’: Wayne Rooney Weighs in on the Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo Debate

?Wayne Rooney has admitted that he believes Lionel Messi is the greatest of all time, and that the Argentine is superior to his famous rival Cristiano Ronaldo on the American radio podcast Pardon My Take.

Rooney’s 16-year Premier League career is seemingly at end after the forward recently joined the MLS with DC United. The Manchester United and England all-time scorer made his professional debut for the American club this week notching up an assist in his first game.

After the game Rooney was a guest on the award-winning American sports podcast show where he faced questions on his career and all things football. Speaking to the show Rooney was asked who was better Ronaldo or Messi? To which he quickly responded Messi.

Rooney went on to elaborate explaining to Pardon My Take: “I think – they’re both probably the best two players ever to play the game and I just think Messi is, in my eyes the greatest ever”.

The 32-year-old was short for words to explain anything that separates the two beyond his personal feelings. Rooney was obviously a teammate of Ronaldo’s for six years at Manchester United and admitted he remains an admirer of the Portuguese talismans abilities.

Ronaldo, now 33, recently completed a transfer himself, moving to Serie A champions Juventus for around €100m.

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Rooney came off the bench to contribute to DC United’s 3-1 win over Vancouver, he’ll be hoping for a first start in the MLS when his side take on Atlanta United on Saturday.  


Ronaldo Says He’s Not Sad to Leave Real Madrid & Confirms Juventus Were Only Club to Make Offer

Cristiano Ronaldo has said that he has no regrets over leaving Spanish giants Real Madrid, despite spending nearly a decade at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The forward will be playing his football with Juventus from next season, having completed a €105m switch last week. 

Ronaldo has signed a four-year deal with the Italian champions and will earn €30m-a-season at the Allianz Stadium. 

Speaking to reporters in his first press conference as a Juve player, the 33-year-old thanked Madrid fans for their support over the many years but insisted that there was no sadness over leaving.

“My story at Real was brilliant and I thank the fans. But now I want to dedicate myself to this new phase of my life. I can’t wait to play. I am very motivated and I want to show that I am a player of the highest level,” he declared.

“I’m not sad about leaving Real Madrid, this is a big club and with all due respect players at this stage of my career usually go to Qatar or China, so I’m grateful to Juventus for allowing me to join such a big club.”

Asked if I Bianconeri were the only club he’d received an offer from, the Portuguese star replied: “Yes.”

Ronaldo had hinted that his time with Real was up after defeating Liverpool in the Champions League final back in May. But he claims that his mind wasn’t made up that night.

“On the night of the final I still had not decided,” he explained. “I thank the president for thinking of me, to arrive at this stage is a huge motivation, I am different from the others.”

The player also assured fans that he’s keen to participate in their first match of the season, when they kick off their title defence on August 12, and will begin training with his new teammates on July 30.


Man Utd Dealt Major Blow in Gareth Bale Pursuit Ahead of Meeting With New Real Madrid Boss

?Manchester United’s chances of signing long-term target Gareth Bale this summer appear to have taken a major hit after reported positive talks between the Welsh superstar and new Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui.

It had been rumoured that United were in ‘advanced talks’ over a possible deal to sign Bale that would have left the decision as to whether a proposed move went ahead with the player himself.

Villarreal v Real Madrid - La Liga

Bale, who took the opportunity following his decisive role in last season’s Champions League final to express disappointment at often being overlooked by Zinedine Zidane, was then expected to meet the new boss to discuss his future at the Bernabeu.

That meeting will not take place until next week, but a report from The Times claims that Lopetegui has already made up his mind and is set to inform Bale that he is part of his plans in 2018/19.


It therefore looks as though Bale will receive the assurances he is seeking and it is said that Lopetegui will even ‘challenge’ the 28-year-old to step into the shoes of former superstar colleague and Blancos icon Cristiano Ronaldo after his €100m departure to Juventus.

What has made Bale’s position even stronger is Kylian Mbappe’s commitment to current club Paris Saint-German and Chelsea’s rumoured determination not to sell Eden Hazard.

United have been trying to sign Bale for years. The Old Trafford club were first linked with him when he was still a teenager at Southampton and it has long been established that United actually offered Tottenham more money than Real did when he moved to Spain in 2013.