Modric at loggerheads with Croatia coach

2015-09-07 13:20
Croatia midfielder Luka Modric (Supplied)
Croatia midfielder Luka Modric (Supplied)

Zagreb - Croatia coach Niko Kovac and captain Luka Modric have fallen out after picking up only one point in their last two Euro 2016 qualifiers in Azerbaijan and Norway.

Following Sunday's 2-0 defeat by the Norwegians, Kovac accused his players of producing less than a fully committed performance but Modric was quick to differ with his boss.

"That's the coach's opinion but I am totally sure that every player out there left everything on the pitch," Modric told Croatian media.

"Everyone is entitled to an opinion," he said. "We were poor and our game plan fell apart but we still tried our best. Unfortunately, things went in the wrong direction."

The first signs of a rift between the two appeared in Friday's 0-0 draw at Azerbaijan, when Kovac substituted Modric midway through the second half and the Real Madrid playmaker was clearly unhappy with the decision.

The 29-year-old said after the game he had no idea why he came off and added it was a question for Kovac, who has come under strong pressure from local media to step down after a pair of tepid performances.

The results left Croatia's chances of reaching next year's 24-team tournament in France in the balance.

They are third in Group H on a provisional tally of 15 points from eight games, three adrift of leaders Italy and one behind Norway.

Governing body UEFA had deducted a point from Croatia's tally for a racist incident in June's 1-1 home draw with Italy, when the Balkan country's fans carved out a swastika on the pitch with a chemical agent.

Croatia appealed the verdict but if UEFA uphold it at a hearing later this month, they will be reduced to 14 points ahead of their last two qualifiers at home to Bulgaria and away to Malta.

The top two from each of the nine groups and the best third-placed team qualify automatically along with hosts France, while the other eight third-placed teams enter a two-legged playoff for the remaining four berths.

Read more on:    real madrid  |  croatia  |  la liga  |  euro 2016  |  luka modric  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

After Stuart Baxter stepped down as Bafana Bafana head coach, who would you like to see take over?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.