Luka Modric looked distraught as he posed for a photo, player of the match award in hand, minutes after Croatia’s last-gasp concession all-but ended their Euro 2024 hopes. 

The 38-year-old had an eventful evening Leipzig in a game his country needed to win to guarantee progression to the knockout stages of the competition. 

Modric was afforded the chance to put Croatia in front after they were awarded a penalty in the 54th minute after a handball from Davide Frattesi, and the veteran stepped up to put his side ahead.

But his spot-kick was weak and easily turned away by Gianluigi Donnarumma, leaving Modric devastated. He could hardly have made amends any quicker, though.

Croatia regained possession and mounted another attack, with Donnarumma pulling off another fine save to deny Ante Budimir. However, his parry fell at the feet of Modric, who made no mistake this time around.

Luka Modric awarded the Player of the Match award following Croatia's 1-1 draw with Italy

Luka Modric awarded the Player of the Match award following Croatia's 1-1 draw with Italy

Luka Modric awarded the Player of the Match award following Croatia’s 1-1 draw with Italy

The Real Madrid star could only watch on as his side conceded a last-gasp goal in Leipzig

The Real Madrid star could only watch on as his side conceded a last-gasp goal in Leipzig

The Real Madrid star could only watch on as his side conceded a last-gasp goal in Leipzig

Mattia Zaccagni (pictured) scored a dramatic late equaliser to leave Croatia on the brink of elimination

Mattia Zaccagni (pictured) scored a dramatic late equaliser to leave Croatia on the brink of elimination

Mattia Zaccagni (pictured) scored a dramatic late equaliser to leave Croatia on the brink of elimination

[data-podcast-container] #embed-iframe-wrapper { min-height: 160px; } [data-podcast-container] header#podcast-container-header { transform: none !important; }

But unfortunately for the Real Madrid star, Mattia Zaccagni’s 98th-minute equaliser leaves Croatia on the brink of elimination.

Modric, who will turn 39 in September, described the late concession as cruel and admitted he does not know how much longer he will keep playing. 

‘We kept battling right until the end but unfortunately football was merciless with us tonight,’ he said. ‘It was cruel… but that’s part and parcel of football.

‘It’s hard when you lose like this to find the words to describe how you feel. Perhaps it’s unfair because we all really fought for Croatia right from the first whistle until the last. 

‘We should be proud of the way we represented our country tonight.’

He added: ‘I’d like to keep playing forever but there will probably be a time I’ll have to hang up my boots. I’ll keep playing on, I don’t know for how much longer.’

His display was enough to see him claim the Player of the Match award, which he dutiful posed for, even if he looked as if he’d rather be anywhere else in the world. 

Modric had given Croatia the lead only 32 seconds after seeing his penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma

Modric had given Croatia the lead only 32 seconds after seeing his penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma

Modric had given Croatia the lead only 32 seconds after seeing his penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma

Fans were quick to comment on the image of the 38-year-old clutching his prize immediately after his country were essentially eliminated from the tournament

Fans were quick to comment on the image of the 38-year-old clutching his prize immediately after his country were essentially eliminated from the tournament

Fans were quick to comment on the image of the 38-year-old clutching his prize immediately after his country were essentially eliminated from the tournament

Fans were quick to comment on social media, with some stating the image ranks among the ‘unhappiest’ taken of a player to receive the prize. 

‘Luka Modric just received the unhappiest MOTM Award ever,’ wrote one fan on X. Another said: ‘Why’d they even take this picture.’

‘Modric won the MOTM award. As you can see, he’s not very pleased.’ Wrote a third. 

The midfielder’s goal earned him a place in Euros history, as he became the oldest goalscorer ever in the tournament.

Modric will have been hoping to go out with a bang, having finished second and third, respectively, at the last two World Cups.

But Croatia made a poor start to the tournament, losing 3-0 to Spain before being held to a 2-2 draw by Albania.

They must now rely on other results going their way over the next two days, but this could be the end for Modric on the international stage.

Modric compared the defeat to Croatia's extraordinary exit from Euro 2008 after they had led with only a minute of extra-time remaining

Modric compared the defeat to Croatia's extraordinary exit from Euro 2008 after they had led with only a minute of extra-time remaining

Modric compared the defeat to Croatia’s extraordinary exit from Euro 2008 after they had led with only a minute of extra-time remaining 

He was taken off with just over 10 minutes remaining, and could only watch on in despair as his team-mates failed to hang on for all three points. 

‘It’s hard to actually to outdo the Turkey game from 2008 but this game probably runs it pretty close.’ He added on Croatia’s extraordinary exit from the European Championship 16 years ago. ‘It’s certainly a sad day for us and the Croatian national team.’

Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celeb News
Mail Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

2 Oahu men sentenced after armed carjacking

Two Oahu men have been sentenced after being convicted for an armed…
Uncategorized

Liverpool predicted lineup vs Sheffield United today – Premier League

Liverpool took residence at the top of the Premier League table last…

Is Prince William’s Alleged Mistress Rose Hanbury Divorced? Inside Her Marriage to David Cholmondeley

Rose Hanbury was once a close personal friend of Kate Middleton —…

Michael Flatley Directorial Debut ‘Blackbird’ Finally Hitting Theaters Four Years After World Premiere

A movie that had developed almost a cult following after effectively disappearing…