“When I first met [Real Madrid star Luka Modrić], I was a bit intimidated,” said Bayern Munich and Croatia defender Josip Stanisić (via @iMiaSanMia). But the rising 22-year-old talent has now come into his own and finds himself no longer overawed, even playing alongside the midfield legend and Ballon d’Or winner.
And on Saturday, the two started in another fine World Cup performance for Croatia, capping a run of successive top-three finishes with their 2-1 defeat of Morocco.
“To be honest, it’s an indescribable feeling for me when I think about where I was a year ago,” Stanisić reflected (via @iMiaSanMia). “We’re a big family. No one gets angry when they don’t play. That’s always the most important thing in big tournaments.”
With Celtic FC’s Josip Juranović nursing a calf injury, Stanisić got his chance to start again at right-back for coach Zlatko Dalić. In the end, it’ll have been a tournament full of positive experiences for the young defender to take back to Bavaria.
As for Modrić’s future? Stanisić has a guess.
“I hope he continues. I’m pretty sure he’s going to continue,” he said. “We could see that still an outstanding footballer. He’s the best football player of all time in our country.”