Luka Modric was awarded the adidas Golden Ball
Russia 2018’s outstanding player missed out on a winner’s medal
Modric: “We were so close to winning the Trophy”
Croatia’s players and their coach will return from Russia 2018 as national heroes. Luka Modric also heads for home with a tangible reward for his hugely impressive campaign, having collected the tournament’s adidas Golden Ball award.
“I’m proud of that,” he said. “I would also like to thank all my team-mates, because without their help I would certainly not have received this award.
“We were so close to winning the World Cup itself,” he added. “And we will certainly think about it for a long time. But we can be proud.
“When you see this support of the fans after the match, it definitely makes you happier. We know we did something big here. But when you come so close, it is not easy to take.”
Croatia fans welcomed home Zlatko Dalic’s side on Monday
Supporters lined the streets of Zagreb to greet their heroes
Team were received at a gathering in Zagreb’s Bana Jelacica Square
Croatia’s players and staff were greeted to a heroes’ welcome upon their arrival home in the Balkan country on Monday afternoon following their runners-up finish at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – their best placing at a world finals.
The Vatreni flew into Zagreb, with the team’s plane being escorted by two Croatian Mig 21 fighter planes.
After landing at the airport, Zlatko Dalic’s squad then rode on a rooftop bus and greeted supporters along the road towards the country’s capital, with the players sharing in the celebrations.
The team then greeted a large and passionate crowd of appreciative fans at a rally in Bana Jelacica Square, which is in the centre of Zagreb.
Photo source by AFP