Messi and Modric the numbers compared
They are the two champions who managed to reach the semi-finals and one of them could subsequently compete in the final for the opportunity to try to win the most coveted trophy in the world for the last time. Both have come close to this milestone, Messi in 2014 in Brazil, Modric in 2018 in Russia. Now they will find themselves facing each other, in what should be a high-level match both technically and competitively.
There are many similarities between these two star players who have dominated the international scene over the past 15 years, both at club and international level. In fact, between the two, there were many matches played against, between Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Spanish Liga and then in their respective national teams, which saw them as absolute protagonists.
Both have won the Ballon d’Or, Messi 7 times and Modric 1, the Champions League, Messi 4 and Modric 5, the Spanish Liga, Messi 10 and Modric 3 and the Club World Cup, Messi 3 and Modric 4.
With the national team, Messi won the America’s Cup in 2019, while Modric played in the final of the World Cup in 2018 at the national level. Seeing the numbers of these two phenomena, it is clear that the victory of the World Cup would close the circle for their fantastic career.
Even their personal stories since they were kids are in some ways similar, as they are marked by the fact of not having the physiques, considered at that time, suitable for making a career at a professional level. Both were not taken into consideration in their beginnings due to the physique, in fact when they presented themselves to the selections, they were rejected by the managers of the companies. For example, Messi was not considered suitable for a test carried out in Italy in the Como team. Modric at the beginning of his career was not considered of great prospects by the scouts of some first-tier Italian clubs.
In 2005, the scouting chief of a very successful Italian club, following a match in Zagreb between Croatia and Serbia under 21, said that Modric was too thin to become a real footballer and that he didn’t have the technical qualities to reach important levels. Over time Modric has denied the judgment of this observer, because that slender physique has led him thanks to his determination and desire to reach unimaginable goals in that distant 2005.
What about Messi, to become a footballer he had to undergo treatment for growth hormones, in his case the Barcelona scouts were certainly better than those of Como. Surely because Barcelona’s selection principles were based and are still based today, first on the identification of the technique and then on the physical one. This way of selecting by the Catalan team has brought many phenomena to its Cantera, from Iniesta to Xavi, from Gavi to Pedri, all players not with great physiques, but phenomena with feet like Messi.
Now both will meet again in the semifinal between Argentina and Croatia. It looks like the script of a film, in which to become World Champions and write their most beautiful page, they have to collide as they have done many times playing for the two strongest clubs in the world but also bitter enemies. When they grow up, Messi 35 years old, Modric 37, they will play this important challenge in front of their children present in Qatar and who in these two weeks have been unbridled rooting for their dad.
These two champions certainly, despite their age, will not spare themselves on the field to be able to reach the final and then try to win the coveted World Cup, to give their fans a unique joy, which the Argentines have been waiting for since 1986, and which Croatians can try it for the first time.