Ivan Rakitic: “Modric? How can someone so small be so big?” | Euro Cup Germany 2024 | EUROtoday

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Ivan Rakitic (Rheinfelden, Switzerland; 36 years outdated) picks up the telephone from Riyadh and begins speaking about soccer. He remembers with pleasure his idols, those that led the Croatian staff to the rostrum in France 98, as he additionally vindicates his technology, a finalist in Russia. He praises Modric, highlights Pedri and analyzes the position of the midfielders. He is (was) a specialist.

Ask. When you see that within the Euro Cup there are gamers like Modric (38 years outdated), Lewandowski (36), Cristiano (39) and Laporte (30) who’re enjoying such as you within the Saudi League, do you remorse having retired from the nationwide staff?

Answer. No, for each participant there’s a excellent time to retire. I gave lots to my staff and, after all, the staff gave me every little thing. But after virtually 13 years and greater than 100 video games, it was time to spend extra time at residence. My household had sacrificed lots for me.

P. Wasn't it even value ready to attempt to surpass the Generation of '98 even additional?

R. We have all the time been a little bit within the shadow of the Generation of '98. Yesterday I spoke for some time with Suker on the telephone and I had a buddy subsequent to me: “Are you talking to Suker?” He was freaking out. As we’re nonetheless energetic, to succeed in that iconic standing or that class of legends, we’re lacking. It will take a number of years for the following technology to speak about us.

P. Does it should do with the historic context, that choice emerged shortly after the battle?

R. We surpassed them in outcomes, however they paved the best way, they put Croatia's picture on this planet. They introduced our legendary t-shirt.

P. Do you say that it’s legendary in order to not say that it’s ugly?

R. The different day I used to be strolling down the road in Riyadh and noticed two youngsters carrying Croatian shirts. I went to ask them for a photograph. The Croatia jersey has one thing particular: it’s simply recognized with its staff. And that’s because of that technology. And nobody goes to take it away. They are our idols.

P. And that your technology has Luka Modric?

R. How can somebody so small be so massive? [se ríe]. Do what it means to us to have the ability to say that Luka is considered one of us? There won’t ever be one other Croatian with the identical picture and with the identical energy on this planet of soccer. With every little thing he has achieved and he’s a really shut, very sort boy. He has been by way of lots in his life and is grateful for every little thing he has. I spoke earlier than the Champions League closing and he advised me that he needs to proceed having fun with himself and that he needs to proceed alongside these strains. There is nothing else to contemplate however to maintain going. He trains, he by no means will get out of the best way, nothing ever appears an excessive amount of to him. He is an instance. Everything that occurred to us in 2018 comes from there. For his and the coach's management. He could be very aggressive.

P. Like all Croatians.

R. It's true, we feature it in our DNA. But we all the time respect the game.

P. You went from being the king in Sevilla to occupying one other position each in Barça and in your nationwide staff. How do you reside with that?

R. You have to know the place you’re, who you’re with and what you may give to these round you. At Barça with Messi and within the nationwide staff with Luka I didn't want to clarify to them how they needed to move the ball to me. They realize it fairly properly. Do you assume it was essential to inform Messi that he was going to move it into house? Players of that degree learn you.

P. Luis Enrique selected you rather than Kroos for his Barça, was he fallacious?

R. It wasn't as an alternative of… We have to research the state of affairs. Being within the League helped me, having competed towards Luis Enrique, who had been at Celta. I'm getting older and I analyze a little bit what coaches do. It is one factor to have info from what you see on tv and one other to have confronted and fought towards somebody. They are small particulars and typically the coach feels one factor greater than one other. My time with Luis Enrique was unbelievable.

P. Kroos and Modric are nonetheless legitimate, has the midfielder advanced?

R. Today's midfielder has modified a little bit. Five or 10 years in the past possibly it was a little bit completely different. That's why I like groups that proceed to have faith in gamers like Toni or Luka. Football evolves, as we speak we see a number of physicality and fewer finesse. Fewer individuals who could make the final move. For instance, how lengthy has 10 been lacking? Or the participant behind the 9? It's a giant pity.

P. What kind of midfielder do you want?

R. The one who’s in every single place. Neither the one who is just above, nor the one who is just behind. The free midfielder, the one with eight eyes. The one who is aware of when to decelerate, when to speed up, when he has to order his teammates. Those are the gamers who make the distinction ultimately. Maybe they don't run as quick, however the quickest muscle is the mind.

P. Pedri, Gavi, Dani Olmo…, how do you see them?

R. I discover them unbelievable. In the case of these from Barça, who I observe lots, it’s nice luck for them to have them. They are key and younger gamers. Age doesn't matter, neither up nor down. Luka can educate you, however so can Pedri. What I do like is that Madrid has made a transition between the generations that the youthful ones admire. Look what occurred between Valverde and Kroos. Valderde thanks him for every little thing he has taught him. And Fede has two Champions. But he has all the time been guided by those that have received every little thing. That is a spectacular group, which works splendidly.

P. How do you analyze the Euro Cup?

R. It's going to be very lengthy and really arduous. In these tournaments there may be all the time some massive shock. It is logical that we all the time discuss Spain, about England, it’s logical that we additionally discuss Germany as a result of it’s at residence, even when they haven’t achieved nice outcomes. It might be attention-grabbing to see. I wish to see how Türkiye goes to be established. They have a number of younger gamers, with a coach from a unique faculty.

P. And Croatia?

R. Croatia will not be a shock. It is established amongst these above.

P. Is it worse or higher to begin towards Spain?

R. You have to begin with a very good outcome. Sometimes a very good outcome will also be a draw. The vital factor is to not go behind. There are many Croatian gamers in excellent, very optimistic moments. It might be good to begin on the highest degree to know the place you’re and the way you’re doing. I’m satisfied that we’re going to see an amazing match, between two doable finalists.

P. If Croatia doesn't win, who do you wish to win: Switzerland or Spain?

R. We perform a little little bit of pito-pito. I'm going a little bit with Spain, which might be tough as a result of they’re within the group with mine. And I’ve a particular reference to Switzerland. I’ve groups to get pleasure from and discuss to numerous gamers. I hope my three picks can go very far.

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