Modric cries after Croatia concedes last-minute goal in crucial Euro game against Italy

By Thanh Quy   June 25, 2024 | 02:00 am PT
Modric cries after Croatia concedes last-minute goal in crucial Euro game against Italy
Modric gives an interview after Croatia's 1-1 draw against Italy in Euro June 24, 2024. Photo by HTV
Croatia captain Luka Modric was brought to tears as his team missed the chance to enter the round of 16 after Italy scored a late equalizer in the Euro game on Monday.

"I don't know what to tell you. Football is sometimes very cruel and today we have witnessed that," Modric told the press with teary eyes after Croatia drew 1-1 against Italy in the final game of Group B on Monday night in Leipzig (early Tuesday morning Hanoi time).

"We didn't deserve this defeat. I don't understand why the referee gave eight minutes of injury time."

In this match, Croatia had to win, because they only hadone point and were third in Group B. Modric opened the scoring in the 55th minute, just seconds after he missed a penalty. If this score remained, Modric and his teammates would have taken Italy's second place and entered the round of 16.

But in the final minute of injury time, something unexpected happened when substitute Mattia Zaccagni equalized 1-1 for Italy with a shot into the top corner.

Euro 2024 has 24 teams divided into six groups. The top two teams in each group and the four best third-placed teams will advance to the next round. With only two points, Croatia still have a slim chance to advance, but many conditions need to be fulfilled. First, England must beat Slovenia with a difference of at least three goals on Tuesday, then Czech Republic and Georgia must both lose in the final round of Group F.

Modric admitted that Croatia's chance to advance is very unlikely. He regretted conceding in the last minute against Italy. In the second round, Croatia also let Albania equalize 2-2 in the fifth minute of injury time.

Modric refused to confirm that he will retire from Croatia national football team after Euro 2024. The 38-year-old midfielder did not seem to care about being the oldest player to score in Euro.

"We fought this battle like lions, but football is cruel," Modric added. "We let our opponents equalize in the last seconds. It's difficult to describe this feeling. We need time to recover from this."

Modric is the best player in Croatian football history, helping the team reach the quarterfinals of Euro 2008, reach the final of the 2018 World Cup and win third place at the 2022 World Cup.

In 2018, he became the first ever Croatian player to win the Ballon d'Or. Last season, he set a record of winning six Champions League titles with Real Madrid.

Euro 2024: Croatia 1-1 Italy

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