MX23RW : Sunday, September 26 21:44:16| >> :600:1655936:1655936:

Modric backs Bale to banish Real worries and shine for Wales

Modric backs Bale to banish Real worries and shine for Wales
© Reuters
The Welshman could leave Real this summer.

Croatia captain Luka Modric says Gareth Bale's problems at Real Madrid will not affect him while on Euro 2020 duty for Wales.

Bale comes up against his Real team-mate and great friend Modric in Osijek on Saturday having suffered a nightmare end to the season at the Bernabeu.

The Welshman was dropped from the starting XI, and boss Zinedine Zidane even refused to bring him off the bench in the final LaLiga game when Los Blancos were losing 2-0 at home to Real Betis.

Modric and Bale have known each other since their Tottenham days
Modric and Bale have known each other since their Tottenham days (Nick Potts/PA)

Real are reportedly keen to get Bale off the wage bill this summer and have already signed Serbia striker Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt for £52.4million, while also being close to completing a club-record £130m move for Chelsea's Eden Hazard.

"It's very different to play for your club or in international football," said Modric, who revealed he had not been spoken to Bale ahead of the Group E qualifier at the Stadion Gradski vrt.

"There's no correlation in form between those two.

"I know what playing for the Welsh national team means to Gareth, so I don't think his lack of minutes for Real Madrid will influence his performance.

"I expect him in top shape. We have to stop him as well as we can, we have to limit the great talent he has."

World Cup finalists Croatia started their Euro 2020 qualifying programme with a 2-1 home victory over Azerbaijan in March.

But they were stunned by Hungary three days later, losing 2-1 in Budapest, as Wales opened their campaign with a 1-0 home win over Slovakia.

"After Hungary, we have no space for other bad results," Modric said.

"We expect a very tough match against an opponent I think, along with Croatia, is the best in the group...

"Wales is a very good, organised team. Gareth is obviously their best player but they have a lot of good players, especially going forward."

The searing heat in Osijek has been an area of concern with the game set to kick-off at 3pm local time.

Wales manager Ryan Giggs spoke about the importance of giving players "the right information on hydrating" for the game, with the temperature at kick-off expected to touch 30 degrees.

Giggs' players could even have ice baths before the game and also at half-time to help them cope with the heat.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic was critical of the decision to stage the game in the afternoon and accused UEFA of disrespecting his side.

"It's going to be hot," Dalic said. "I don't know who made the decision – UEFA did.

"Croatia is second in the world and they should have shown us more respect. It's going to be difficult for the players but it's the same for both teams."

ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'});
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Phil Blanche, Press Association Sport, Osijek');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '0fb8bd8b-462d-4cc5-a76a-d5c4155745b1');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football');
ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + + location.hash), 'title': 'Modric backs Bale to banish Real worries and shine for Wales'});

ID:361396: cacheID:361396:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:8129:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Wales manager Ryan Giggs ahead of the UEFA Nations League match against Denmark on September 9, 2018
Read Next:
Wales to discover location of Croatia qualifier 'by end of the week'

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Ligue 1
Primeira Liga
Scottish Championship
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
J1 League
International Friendlies
Women's Super League
2Manchester CityMan City64111211113
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd6411135813
6Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton540174312
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham6321138511
8Aston Villa631297210
11Tottenham HotspurSpurs630349-59
13Leicester CityLeicester6213710-37
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves620435-26
15Crystal Palace512258-35
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle6033714-73
18Leeds UnitedLeeds6033614-83
20Norwich CityNorwich6006216-140

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!