Croatia’s coach Zlatko Dalic hopes his captain Luka Modric is named the best player at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia as it will mean Croatia have done something “significant” at the tournament.
Modric has been outstanding for Croatia in the group stage, inspiring the Vatreni to amass nine points in a group that had Iceland, Argentina and Nigeria.
He has scored twice in three games so far at the tournament.
Dalic was quick to add that the dream will be up in the smokes if they don’t get past Denmark on Sunday at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.
“It’s not going to go to Messi because they are 4-2 down right now,” Dalic revealed during a news conference, which took place during Argentina’s clash with France.
“I’d be the happiest man on earth if [Modric] did it. It would mean Croatia have done something significant. I hope this is so.
“Our greatest pressure comes from within. We’ve achieved something in the groups but it will mean nothing if we don’t underline that.
“The group is now behind us. It gives us some confidence in our ability but we can’t dwell on that. I’m fully confident in the squad, I know it won’t be easy.
“It’s nice to hear we’ve been recognised as a team who played well in the group but let me reiterate: it will mean nothing if we do not underline it [on Sunday].
“I’m so proud to be a part of this and if we play well, I think we will have achieved a great thing for ourselves, our families and Croatia. This is what keeps me going.
“I have to be calm but there’s a struggle in me. If God allows [the win], we’ll be overjoyed. If not, I’ll be proud of the time I’ve spent with these boys. Whatever comes next, these will have been the best days of my career.”