On Tuesday night, thousands of Turkey supporters gave a standing ovation to Croatia captain Luka Modric, who appears to improve with age.
This season alone, the 37-year-old has been applauded on multiple occasions, including after a Champions League masterclass at Celtic Park in September, and when he replaced Toni Kroos in the 87th minute of Liverpool’s 5-2 win at Anfield, where he was greeted with appreciation from a large number of Liverpool fans.
This has become a common occurrence, particularly during away games.
During Croatia’s 2-0 victory over Turkey in Euro 2024 qualifying on Tuesday evening, Luka Modric, the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner, was once again celebrated by certain sections of the Bursa Buyuksehir Belediye stadium. As Modric made his way off the pitch to replace Lovro Majer, thousands of Turkish fans expressed their admiration for him.
Fans took to social media to express their appreciation for Modric’s performance, with one stating, “Luka Modric receives another standing ovation, making it his eighth this season. He is truly great,” while another declared, “This man is receiving standing ovations from everyone everywhere. He is simply immortal.”
Despite Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic scoring a brace and Croatia taking first place in Group D with four points from two games, Modric’s performance earned the biggest applause of the night.
@eminsolgunn 👑 modric alkışlanıyo…#türkiye #hırvatistan #respect #bursa ♬ orijinal ses – eminsolgunn
During the World Cup in Qatar last December, Luka Modric received a memorable and emotional ovation from the Lusail Stadium as he left the field during Croatia’s semi-final loss to Argentina.
When the official held up the substitute board to indicate Modric’s departure from the pitch, fans from all corners of the stadium applauded the veteran midfielder, who appeared to be moved by the gesture as he took the place of Majer.
The moment was a poignant reminder of Modric’s status as a footballing icon and a testament to his enduring popularity among fans worldwide.
Modric, who has made 164 appearances for Croatia since making his debut against Argentina in 2006, said he had “no reason to retire” after this winter’s tournament.
“No, I won’t leave the national team,” he said while out in Qatar. “I feel very fit, very good and I’ll stay here until I can. There’s no reason to retire. It’s my choice.
“People say I should leave and focus on club football. I don’t agree.”
A standing ovation for Luka Modrić in his last World Cup game! 🇭🇷🐐👏pic.twitter.com/ryJUV1Qjkw
— Football Report (@FootballReprt) December 13, 2022