World media responds to 'a real candy' as Luka Modric inspires Scotland's Euro 2020 defeat by Croatia

Luka Modric hogged the headlines at home and abroad after a sparkling show at Hampden to help Croatia into the last 16 of Euro 2020 and eliminate Scotland, at home.

Scott McTominay during Euro 2020 match between Croatia and Scotland at Hampden, on June 22, 2021. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Scott McTominay during Euro 2020 match between Croatia and Scotland at Hampden, on June 22, 2021. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The Real Madrid maestro’s goal and then assist to Ivan Perisic’s header which sent Croatia second on goal difference was marvelled the world over, with Josip Tolic in his homeland describing the curling right-foot strike as ‘a real candy’.

As the eyes of the world followed the outcome in Group D - here is how the match at Hampden was seen by The Scotsman, and further afield

The match

Ivan perisic celebrates scoring to make it 3-1 during a Euro 2020 match between Croatia and Scotland at Hampden Park, on June 22, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

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“The situation seemed rather hopeless,” wrote 24sata in Modric’s homeland, “but Croatia eventually reached the round of 16.”

Le Monde summarised: “The vice-world champions came out of it thanks to their glorious elder players, Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic. Faced with the Scots who shared the wait-and-see scenario, the experience of the vice-world champions quickly spoke.”

Blesk, in the Czech Republic remarked “the Croats defeated Scotland for the first time in history and at the same time broke the four-match wait for victory. They got into the elimination fights for the fifth time, on the contrary, their opponent is still waiting for the first advance from the group.

“The Scots, driven by their fans, entered the match more actively and worked out two corner kicks in the first minute. It was mainly Adams, however, the Croats were patient and struck from the first serious action.”

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Scotland's Lyndon Dykes during a Euro 2020 match between Croatia and Scotland at Hampden Park, on June 22, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Sydney Morning Herald reporter Toby Davis added: “Scotland seemed lacking in midfield and Croatia bossed the ball, dominating possession for large periods before deservedly taking the lead.

“The goal drained the life out of Hampden and Scotland’s fortunes did not look like improving as Croatia stroked passes around the pitch.”

Gazzetta dello Sport’s Nicolo Delvecchio added: “Slowly, with little means but a lot of heart, Scotland (who had to give up Hanley for McKenna in the 33rd minute) came out,” before conceding “the captain's right fielder conclusion is a gem, on which Marshall can do nothing.”

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The magician

Modric’s midfield class and goal was widely complemented.

Boss Zlatko Dalic, quoted in 24sata added: “I don't think any of us understand how Luka is doing. We all think it will fall and weaken in the years it is. But he's getting better. He pulls the whole team and doesn’t give up.”

Writer Josip Tolic called the curling right-foot strike ‘a real candy’, while Toby Davis hailed his “moment of inspiration” in SMH.

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La Marca called the strike “brilliant” and added, “the Real Madrid player stood out on the pitch”.

The crowd

Scotland fans were praised despite their disappointment.

"Scotland, who scored their only goal of the tournament through Callum McGregor, finished bottom of the pile on one point, falling to earth with a thump after their positive performance against England at Wembley lifted hopes of reaching the knockouts of a major tournament for the first time,” wrote Toby Davis.

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Gazzetta added: “Carried away by the scream of Hampden Park, Scotland started strong, but the initial enthusiasm died down as the minutes pass and - almost naturally - the quality of the Croatians emerges.

“Scotland were eliminated to the applause of its audience: the hope, for all, is of not having to wait another 25 years before returning to these levels."

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