Croatia 'role model' Luka Modric backed for Ballon d'Or by Davor Suker

FIFA World Cup 2018: Quarter-final roundup and semi-final schedule

After once again starring as Real won a fourth Champions League crown in five seasons by beating Liverpool in Kiev in May, Modric will be nearly assured of winning the Ballon d'Or if he can lead Croatia all the way to improbable World Cup glory. Through five matches, it looked as if they could finally deliver on their promise. I've seen him do the same thing time and time again at this World Cup.

"I've known Luka for a number of years, not only with the national team".

A Belgium team featuring numerous same stars lost 1-0 to Argentina in the World Cup quarterfinal four years ago and then was shocked 3-1 by Wales in the European Championship quarterfinals two years ago.

However, the bad news for Croatia is that he knows he can improve and he scored a goal. We've had the chance to make a difference, ' he said.

France's shining light comes in the form of 19 year-old prodigy Kylian Mbappe, whose close control, trickery and blistering pace leaves defenders for dead.

But the potent Belgian attack gradually faded as France's rock-solid defense handed Belgium its first shutout of the tournament. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes Soccer Football - World Cup - Semi-Final - France vs Belgium - Paris, France, July 11, 2018 - France fans with barriers clash on the Champs-Elysees after their World Cup semi-final match.

While Lukaku is the end point of Belgium's attack, Kevin De Bruyne is where it starts.

"Generations. Who talks about generations?" "Over the past several days, we've enjoyed it even more because we know what's been going on back at home".

"Until five or six years ago I was bit vain, and in a way glad that in 1998 we set the bar so high that it was hard to even contemplate, let alone jump over it". We don't have the resources, the infrastructure, the money that other countries have.

"He is our captain, our leader, we follow him and if the team manages a great result and he gets the Ballon d'Or he will deserve it, and I want it for him".

England's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks last night compared the current squad to the victorious 1966 team. A pair of Diego Maradona second-half goals sank Belgium that day.

As excitement builds in England in the run-up to the nation's first World Cup semi-final for 28 years, midfielder Dele Alli said that the team are keeping a cool head in their tournament "bubble".

"They've seen we've got good lads who are incredibly proud to play, and are playing in a slightly different style to the one we've seen for a few years - playing with confidence on a big stage".

"Generations come and go", Kompany said.

Croatia has become a popular holiday destination, particularly the resort of Dubrovnik, where popular television series Game of Thrones films its King's Landing scenes. "So maybe for the future we've still done something good for Belgian football".

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