(During the next 30 days, starting May 10th, CroatianSports will be giving “season grades” to 30 of Croatia’s most important football players: Starting XI, bench, fringe, prospects. Grades will be given on preseason expectations vs. actual season performance; not stats.)
Day 1: Luka Modrić
Season Grade: A
Free kick assist; full-field run topped off by hockey assist against Liverpool in Champions League Round of 16. Bossed the Brazil midfield in World Cup quarterfinal match. Won the ball that eventually went through Vlašić, Oršić, Petković for the extra time equalizer.
Team next season:
Stay at Real Madrid at least one more year until EURO 2024. Al Nassr rumour recently shut down as Modrić declined contract and boat loads of cash to move to Saudi Arabia.
What to improve next season:
Keep fitness levels up by getting sufficient rest in order to allow himself to continue performing the way he has been in his late-30s.
What the future holds:
-Lift the Nations League trophy for Croatia this June.
-Play one more season at Real Madrid and win La Liga/CL or both.
-Be 100% fresh for EURO 2024 next summer.