Luka Modric’s last chance at World Cup glory will see him forced to go through Argentina in Tuesday’s semi-final clash.
The 37-year-old remains one of the game’s premier midfielders and has missed just a handful of minutes in Qatar, but heads into Tuesday’s match having played over 90 minutes in each of his last two outings, even going the full 120 in the penalty shoot-out victory over Brazil in the previous round.
Having seen his fitness managed by those in charge, Modric is in line to start once again as Croatia take on Argentina.
The Real Madrid playmaker has been training with his teammates as normal and is expected to line up alongside formidable teammates Mateo Kovacic and Marcelo Brozovic.
In the build-up to the game, Modric warned Lionel Messi and Argentina that they are facing a Croatia side who share the same never-say-die DNA as Real Madrid.
He told Television Espanola: “You could say we have the same DNA as Real Madrid because we always keep going until the end, and never give up.
“I want to play another semi-final against a big team, that’s what I want, not just against a player.
“Of course, Leo [Messi] is very big, he’s their best player, and we’re going to have a lot of difficulties to stop him, but we are prepared and we are going to give it our all.
“I hope it will be enough to be in the final.”