DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Luka Modric will win another World Cup leading Croatia’s campaign to the title.
The 37-year-old midfielder will lead Croatia into their Group F opener against Morocco on Wednesday, a hurdle the 2018 runners-up are expected to comfortably clear before facing Canada and then a clash with 2nd-placed Belgium. Kevin de Bruyne.
Four years ago, Modric worked tirelessly and was awarded the man of the tournament award as Croatia reached the final, losing 4-2 to France.
Only five players who started the 2018 final are in this Croatia squad after coach Zlatko Dalic’s reshuffle. Modric is a constant in everything Croatia do and is more important to his team’s chances than Lionel Messi in Argentina. and Cristiano Ronaldo from Portugal.
The Real Madrid player has confirmed that this tournament will be the end of his 16-year international career.
It will be an early match against the Moroccans in Al Khor, north of Doha, where temperatures will reach 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). Thanks to the cooling systems used in this year’s World Cup stadiums, that heat shouldn’t be a problem against North Africa.
“The conditions here were better than I expected,” said Croatia forward Andrej Kramaric, who was substituted in the 2018 final. “And given the air conditioning in the stadiums, (it might) even get cold during the games.”
The climate in the Moroccan camp has also cooled down after a violent conflict between former head coach Vahid Halilhodzic and Chelsea striker Hakim Ziyoch. It was seen that Ziyech was fired from the team last year after Halilhodzic called his attitude “unacceptable”.
It threatened to leave Morocco, desperately in need of all its overseas talent, without one of its best players at the World Cup. Despite qualifying for the World Cup in Morocco, Halilhodzic was sacked and replaced by Walid Regragui, who immediately recalled Zioc.
Zieh hit the ground running and scored a stunning goal from his own half in Morocco’s last match before the World Cup.
But the coaching change only took place at the end of August, giving Regraghi, who has yet to be an international coach, just two full months to make a bigger mark on a team already struggling at the World Cup, especially against Croatia. and Belgium.
That may not be enough for the 47-year-old Regrag to take anything special from Morocco, who have only made it past the group stage at the 1986 World Cup.
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