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MODRIC – ITALY GAME MATTERS

Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has said that the match against Italy will determine their chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Euro 2012.

Luka Modric was one of the outstanding players for Croatia in their 3-1 win over Republic of Ireland in the opening group match. Due to the fact that Croatia are in the group containing Spain and Italy, they are not the favourites to qualify for the next round. Despite this, the win against the Republic of Ireland coupled with the draw for both Spain and Italy in their heavyweight encounter has meant that Croatia have been given a great opportunity to progress to the next round.

However, Luka Modric has revealed that the team is not looking beyond the next match against Italy. Croatia and the Italy football team will be taking on each other on Thursday knowing that have been for Croatia could put them on the brink of qualification. The final group game for Croatia is against current world champions Spain. Modric, who has been subject to transfer rumours from Manchester United and Barcelona, has said that he would like the team to perform in the same way against Italy as they did against the Republic of Ireland.

‘That’s an amazing game for us as well. I hope we can repeat this performance on Thursday evening and I hope we can win against Italy as well. It is going to be a different game, but we have to prepare well, bring this performance and play like we did last night. It has given us confidence because we won. That game didn’t bother us that much and we were only focused on our game and how to win. Now we have four days to think about Italy. I hope we prepare well, like we did for the Ireland football team,’ said Modric.

HARRY PRAISES LUKA

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has once again come out in praise of the Croatian midfielder Luka Modric by saying that he is irreplaceable by Tottenham. The Croatian midfielder was linked with a move to Chelsea in the last summer. Chelsea were prepared to pay as much as £ 40 million for the final day of the transfer window, but Tottenham managed to hold onto their star asset. It was quite impressive given that Luka Modric even handed a transfer request to Tottenham. However, the fans and the players have been able to accept the Croatian back into the first-team.

He has since repaid the faith by being extraordinarily brilliant in the midfield of Tottenham. He was once again the difference between Tottenham winning and losing a match against Bolton Wanderers in the midweek round of action. Tottenham were struggling to break down a stubborn Bolton side, but it was Luka Modric who created a bit of magic, as the game was closing was the first half break. The long range effort from the Croatian was a perfect demonstration of his quality. Tottenham, then, went on to win the match 4-1, but Harry Redknapp reckons that it is due to his importance to open up defences that he is almost irreplaceable.

“He (Modric) is a fantastic player, great professional, top bloke. You can’t replace him. You can sell him but you can’t replace him with someone as good. That’s why the other clubs want to buy him – because he is worth the money. We don’t want to sell him, we want to keep him. Once you start selling your best players you are finished. He’s one of the better players in world football. He’s an amazing footballer,” said Redknapp after the 4-1 win over Bolton. Tottenham will be making the trip to Aston Villa during the weekend.