What do you think of the picture I sent you? [em cima]?
Hey man, this is really funny, I didn’t remember that picture. Before the cup semi-final we played in 2010 with Portsmouth and Tottenham. Since we were Tottenham teammates, we saw each other again, whether it was him and [Vedran] Orluca. We had a good relationship when we were at Spurs and in this picture you can see that it was like that, by the way we are both. It was a pleasure to see you again.
The game did nothing wrong.
No, nothing went wrong, we won. We committed the Spurs massacre, but we held on, and then we managed to score twice and win. Moreover, I was the best in that match and we qualified for the final against Chelsea.
Do you remember when Modric arrived at Tottenham? Have you heard of him before?
No, by any means [tinha] Man, but I remember that at that time there was the noise Too big at the club for the hiring that would have been, for the amounts involved. I think at the time, if I’m not mistaken, it was set for 20 or 25 million. After hearing this possibility, I began to pay more attention and noticed that I was one of the stars of Dinamo Zagreb, it was a very good Croatian generation, with excellent players. At that time, Tottenham’s sporting director had this desire to have high-quality youth, and also went to get للحصول [Gareth] Bale to Southampton. As for the values it implies and what has been said about it, everything has been proven [certo], with what he did at Tottenham and then moving to Real Madrid and the player he has been since then. And he even won an international award for the best player in the world.
And do you think that this small body will do well in the English Premier League?
No, by chance when he arrived, we had some fear. The Premier League is physically strong, there is a lot of friction, but, thanks to his technical quality and prestige, he has managed to adapt well, develop and adapt to this football. Then it was just about putting the quality he always had and still has for the club to be the player he was and still is.
You said you and the Croats get along pretty well, what was his day-to-day like?
He is a very calm, you know, a very humble and calm person. There, in Tottenham, it was like this: there was a group of Englishmen, there were many of them; There was a group of French, who were also a few, not least because the sporting director was French; And then there was the rest [risos]We usually get along well with each other. I don’t know if they came at the same time, he and Orluca, who came from Manchester City, we had a good relationship, especially in training, talking a little bit, being together, etc., not after training, on a personal level, but in Training, dressing room and club got along well.
What impressed you most about Modric on the field, in training and in games, because he is different and special?
It’s a lot. His calmness with the ball, his technique, his positioning, his vision of the game, it all comes down to a complete player. I can say that he is a complete player, at that time he was very young and all this quality was already noticeable. And then, it was very important for the development of the team itself, which happened later with the arrival of [Mauricio] Pochettino managed to reach another level. But he was undoubtedly one of the champions of the Tottenham team, which is why he signed his contract with Real Madrid, also due to the essential role of the captain that he plays in the Croatian national team.
And the conversations with him, do you have any idea if it’s about the game or football or something else?
I don’t remember, I don’t remember, I know we were fine, and we were always playing. I was trying to remember what we were talking about, even what we were talking about in that picture, but I have no idea [risos], many years ago, that was in 2010.
Now about the European. You are enjoying?
Yes, I think it was really good. There are many teams that are putting on a great level, and the matches were very fun. There are also some teams that seemed like they couldn’t make a lot of noise at first, but that was on a great level. After a tough season for all the players, for all the teams, with a very tight schedule, a very high demand from a physical point of view for players, they are at a fantastic level. We saw great goals and great matches.
Is there a collection you can’t miss and really enjoy?
I think Italy, above all, surprised everyone, because of the football they play, and also because of the quality of the players they have. He will certainly be and will continue to be one of the favorites to win the European Championship, but there are several high-ranking teams, who will be very competitive until the end, especially now that we have entered the knockout stages [conversa com Ricardo Rocha foi antes do Itália-Áustria].
You’ve never played European, I was here…
No, man, unfortunately I couldn’t. That was the one thing I couldn’t do that I wanted to do.
Were you not close before?
I played some playoffs there, in 2008, but then I ended up being one of the shortlists at the time. Portugal have always had high-quality players, especially in the position I played in, in the middle. The competition was really tough and forced us all to do more and better, but it just didn’t happen. I encountered this in a normal way.