Croatia superstar Luka Modric talks about facing Lionel Messi during 2022 FIFA World Cup semifinal against Argentina

Ahead of his team’s 2022 FIFA World Cup semifinal with Argentina, Croatia superstar Luka Modric has hailed Lionel Messi but added that the Albiceleste are not about just one player.

Croatia overcame record five-time winners Brazil in the quarterfinals on Friday (December 9) on penalties. With the game level at 1-1 after extra time, the game went to penalties, where the 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists won 4-2.

Argentina, too, endured a nerve-wracking penalty shootout in the quarterfinals. After the game ended 2-2 after extra time, Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez kept Van Dijk and Steven Berghuis out to help his team win 4-3 on penalties.

Croatia and Argentina will clash at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Tuesday night (December 13) for a place in the final. The matchup between Modric and Messi is set to be one of the key battles. The Real Madrid legend has faced Messi 26 times, winning 12 times, losing on nine occasions and drawing five times.

Speaking ahead of the last-four clash, the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner said:

“Argentina are a big team. I don’t just want to play against one player. Of course, Leo Messi is very big, their best player, and we’re going to have a lot of difficulties to stop him, but we’re prepared, and we’re going to give it our all. Let’s go to try to make the best match of the tournament of our lives. I hope it will be enough to be in the final.”

Messi and Co. lost 3-0 to Croatia in their last FIFA World Cup meeting four years ago in the group stage.

Lionel Messi lauds ‘great team’ Croatia ahead of 2022 FIFA World Cup semifinal showdown

Lionel Messi showered Luka Modric and Co. with praise after the Vatreni knocked out tournament favourites Brazil on Friday. The Paris Saint-Germain forward said that Zlatko Dalic’s men proved their mettle and went toe-to-toe with Tite’s Selecao.

He said:

“Croatia showed that they are a great team. At times, they played on an equal footing with Brazil. They are a team that has been working with the same coach for a long time, and they know each other well.”

Croatia and Argentina have locked horns five times so far, with 12 goals scored between the two teams. Both teams have won two games apiece, while one ended in a goalless draw.

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