Luca MODRIC (Croatia) – Man of the Match – MATCH 59

Luka, congratulations on a fantastic, amazing
victory and being chosen as the MVP of the match,
you played against Russia, the host, who were perhaps the biggest surprise of the
tournament. Can you tell me what it was like to play against
them and the crowd here? First of all, thank you, a lot of drama, and
it was difficult, especially in the first half, since we didn’t have possession of the ball, we kept shooting, but didn’t play much,
but that changed in the second half, and in the extra time I think we were superior. It’s too bad that we didn’t show that and
score a couple of more times, in the end we didn’t manage to keep our lead
till the end and had to go to a penalty shootout, but thank God, we beat them regardless, and
we showed our great character and toughness, and we’re really happy that after 20 years,
Croatia is once more in the semifinals. So you got to the them with two penalty shootouts,
which is amazing, and no one’s done since 1990. How did you prepare for this, mentally? Honestly, we didn’t prepare for the penalty
shootouts, we thought we’d take care of it sooner, we knew we were a better team than Russia, which we showed during most of the match,
especially during the second half and during the extra time,
but they had the crowd with them, they’re fanatics, they fought, ran and made problems for us We didn’t prepare for the penalty shootout,
but when it came to it, we showed amazing mental strength, and Suba
stopped that first penalty shot, which is important because it gave us confidence,
he performed great, like all the shooters, and thank God, we’re in the semifinals, there’s no one happier than us. When you shot the penalty, there was a roller coaster of emotions, how did you feel in that moment? Yes, it was a close one, but thank God, the
ball went in and that’s the most important thing.

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