Luka Modric is expected to stay playing international football until at least the 2024 European Championships, the Croatian national team doctor has revealed.
Modric, now 37 years old, was widely expected to announce that he would be hanging up his boots after the 2022 World Cup, but instead the Los Blancos midfielder will now target the 2024 tournament, due to end just two months before his 40th birthday.
Speaking about his own departure, the Croatian doctor Zoran Bahtijarevic revealed that “my plan was to leave when Luka and the older generation say goodbye to the national team, so that I retire and no one finds out. However, Luka decided to stay until the Euros, ha, ha, and that would still be hard to wait for.”
Modric, who captains the National Team, won the golden ball at the World Cup four years ago, after helping his side to the final where they ultimately fell to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of France.
He has racked up 152 appearances for the Croatians, 18 more than any other in his nation’s history, and almost 40 more than any current player (Ivan Perisic has appeared 113 times). In that time, he has scored 22 goals, and has helped usher in something of a golden age for the European nation.
That age is coming to an end, however, with much of the spine of the side now over 30 years old or already retired. Drawn in a group with Morocco, Canada and Belgium, they will be hoping that their generation can deliver one last time, and go better than four years ago.
For Modric, however, it will not be the end of the road.