Modric reveals three-year rift with Mandzukic before 2018World Cup

Real Madrid Luka Modric reveals he had a three-year disagreement with Croatia team-mate Mario Mandzukic before the Russia World Cup in 2018

  • Luka Modric and Mario Mandzukic settled their dispute before 2018 World Cup
  • The two men had a disagreement outside of a hotel whilst on international duty
  • Modric says his former team mate ‘is the the person I would go to any fight with’
  • Mandzukic announced his retirement last week after a glittering playing career 

Luka Modric has revealed that he fell out with Croatia team-mate Mario Mandzukic for three years before the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 

Mandzukic retired from the game last week after a stellar career at both club and international level that included winning titles with Bayern Munich and Juventus, and reaching the World Cup final with his country. 

The 35-year-old has been working on a autobiography, My Game, and snippets have resurfaced following the striker’s retirement, revealing a clear rift between the player and his Real Madrid team-mate, both important stars for their country in the 2010s. 

Luka Modric (right) revealed that he and Mario Mandzukic (left) fell out for three years 

Mandzukic and Modric managed to settle their dispute before the 2018 World Cup in Russia

Modric said: ‘All this time I have known Mario as a great boy, with a big heart. I loved him from day one, even though it took me a long time to understand [him].

‘We spent a lot of time together on the national team. On a visit to Iceland, when we were trying to go to the World Cup in Brazil, I ran into Mandzukic in front of the hotel elevator.

”Come on Mario, we’re going hard today,’ I told him, since many times the players cheer each other on in training or before the game. 

Mandzukic had a successful playing career winning trophies at Juventus and Bayern Munich 

‘Mandzukic, however, surprised me with his reaction: ‘Look at yourself, leave me.’ It seemed to me that it was a momentary upset.

‘I always had a good relationship with Mario. We were in constant contact until then. Then there was silence, the relationship cooled.

‘If he had had the wisdom of now, he would have clarified it immediately or, in the worst case, in the next concentration of the national team.  

‘But I was also defiant. When two difficult people are short-circuited, the energy disappears. Frankly, he was wrong, but he didn’t want to take the first step.’

Modric and Mandzukic were both key players during Croatia’s run to the 2018 World Cup final 

The pair are close friends now and the pair reconciled just before the 2018 World World Cup, which saw Croatia reach the final only to lose 4-2 to France out in Russia.  

Speaking about the moment the pair reunited, Mandzukic added: ‘I waited for the right moment and started the conversation. I wanted to tell him how sorry I was that we no longer had a close relationship. 

‘I was interested to know the reason why we had been communicating exclusively in a cold way for more than three years. We spoke openly and saw that the problem came out of nowhere. ‘I didn’t get mad at you. I thought you were sulking with me’, he told me.

‘I said the same thing. Positive energy flowed between Mario and me again. We share some traits: a kind of introversion, a little more difficult to show emotions, we know how to be stubborn.

‘But he is the person I would go to any fight with. Whatever it is, I know he will give everything, protect your back and never betray you.’

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