37-year-old Luka Modric running the game at his fourth World Cup against the tournament's favorites.
Modric is now the clear leader of his country's team. Now that Croatia beat Japan in the Round of 16 of this year's World Cup and is about to play Brazil in the quarterfinals, many people worry that it will be Modri's last game on the biggest stage in the world.
Modri has won every club football trophy there is to win, sometimes more than once. He has won at least five UEFA Champions League titles, four FIFA Club World Cups, four Spanish and European Super Cups each, three La Liga titles, and so on. We haven't even begun to talk about all of his awards.
Modric was exceptional against Brazil, dictating the pace of the game for Croatia. The numbers shows he was by far the best player on the pitch.
Luka Modrić game by numbers vs Brazil:
139 touches (most)
105 passes complete (most)
90.52% passing accuracy
22 final third entries (most)
9 duels won
7 ball recoveries
5 crosses attempted
5 fouls won
1 chance created
When it comes to the country, things are different. Almost every child in Croatia knows his name and the names of Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic, who play with him in the middle of the field for Croatia. The national team goes wherever Modri goes.
Marquinhos missed the most important penalty in the shootout. He hit the post when he needed to score to keep Brazil in the game after Dominik Livakovic had saved Rodrygo's earlier shot, and Croatia scored all four penalties.
Brazil looked like they were going to win when Neymar scored the first goal with a beautiful strike halfway through extra time. With that goal, he tied Pele's Brazilian record of 77 international goals.
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