Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic insists his captain Luka Modric will remain the team’s primary penalty taker despite missing against Denmark on Sunday.
The Real Madrid star had a great chance to secure Croatia’s place in the World Cup quarter-finals when he stepped up to take a penalty in extra-time with the sides locked at 1-1. However, Kasper Schmeichel saved the hesitant spot-kick to force the tie into a penalty shootout.
Modric didn’t shy away from the responsibility and scored in the shootout, albeit unconvincingly, to help Croatia past Denmark and into the last eight.
Despite the poor quality of Modric’s penalties against Denmark, Dalic has made it clear that the midfielder will stay on spot-kick duties.
“Luka Modric is our captain, our leader, and he showed great responsibility and courage that after he missed the penalty he again took it during the penalty kicks and he scored. That showed the class that he has,” Dalic told the press in Russia.
“That’s the difference between an average player and a player like Luka. He scored, it wasn’t easy for him, he didn’t shoot it much better in the penalty shoot-out, but he was luckier.
“That’s what happens when you are brave and you show courage during the game. Yes, if there’s another opportunity like that, he will shoot.”
Croatia will face World Cup hosts Russia in the quarter-finals on Saturday.