Soccer-Modric seeking to make more history as Croatia take on Spain

Soccer Football - International Friendly - Portugal v Croatia - Centro Desportivo Nacional do Jamor, Oeiras, Portugal - June 8, 2024 Croatia's Luka Modric reacts before scoring their first goal REUTERS/Pedro Nunes/ File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Almost two decades after making his major tournament bow for Croatia at the 2006 World Cup, playmaker Luka Modric is back in Germany to get his side's Euro 2024 campaign underway against Spain as he seeks to secure a first international trophy.

The clash marks the fourth time the two nations have met at the Euros, yet Modric is still relishing the chance to take on the country where he has carved out a magnificent career at Real Madrid.

"We've played them a couple of times, so we know all the details that will decide the outcome. We will have to be at our best in each moment and watch these details. We never get bored of playing such big matches," Modric told a press conference at Berlin's Olympiastadion on Friday.

Flanked by coach Zlatko Dalic, the 38-year-old midfielder fielded a slew of questions about his age, experience and memories of leading perennial dark horses Croatia to success, including second and third-placed finishes at the World Cup.

"I always say that if someone gave me a piece of paper and asked me to write down what you want to achieve in your career ... I would be afraid to write this down on paper, so I didn't expect all of this to happen," Modric said.

"But after so many years, here I am still, and I'm happy to be here."

Coach Dalic noted that Spain now try to play the ball forward much quicker than in previous years and that his side would have to be aware of the danger.

"First they played possession and tiki-taka and they forced this kind of play, they destroyed opponents, exhausted opponents. Now it's a bit different, they have the centre-forward, they have (Alvaro) Morata, they have fast players on the flanks, so they have a more vertical, faster game now," Dalic said.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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