Argentina defeated Croatia 3-0 to get to the World Cup final, leaving Luka Modric in disbelief at the referee.
- Croatia knocked out after 3-0 defeat
- Modric misses second World Cup final chance
- 37-year-old’s penultimate World Cup match
WHAT HAPPENED? After Croatia’s 3-0 semi-final loss to Argentina at the Lusail Stadium, Modric, who always avoids controversy, had some choice words for Italian referee Daniele Orsato, labeling his performance a “disaster.” The 47-year-old Italian referee, who was working his second Argentina game of the tournament, gave the South American team a first-half penalty after Dominik Livakovic fouled Julian Alvarez. Leo Messi converted the penalty to give Argentina a 1-0 lead. Following that, Alvarez scored twice as Lionel Scaloni’s team advanced to the championship contest.
WHAT THEY SAID: Modric said after the game, “Argentina was a fair winner of the match, they were better, they deserved to win, but these things have to be mentioned, I typically don’t do them, but today they have to be done.” I’m not one to criticize refs, but this is among the worst. I don’t have fond memories of [Orsato], who is a complete failure. It wasn’t a punishment for me.
Despite this, the Croatian captain said, “I don’t want to take anything away from Argentina.” The penalty made us die. To take third place, we must triumph in that game.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite criticizing Orsato’s performance, Modric sent his best wishes to Argentina captain Messi, who will have one last chance to win the World Cup in Sunday’s championship game at the Lusail Stadium.
“Congratulations, and best of luck to Messi in the championship,” I said. He is having a wonderful tournament and displaying his talent and excellence, according to Modric.