Celtic star Josip Juranovic addresses France display; talks playing with Luka Modric

By David Walton

June 7, 2022

Josip Juranovic has labelled it an honour to play alongside Real Madrid’s Luka Modric after holding France to a draw last night.

Josip has been a regular in the Croatian national team since late 2020 as he continues to operate as the first-choice right-back for his country.

Throughout this period, he’s regularly featured with Madrid icon Modric, qualifying for Euro 2020 and the World Cup as a teammate of his idol.

Photo by Luka Stanzl/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

It was the same again in last night’s 1-1 home draw against France, and Juranovic has been giving his thoughts on the performance whilst talking up the midfield maestro.

As quoted by Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti, Josip said: “We all know what Modric means to us, he is one and unique. I am honored to play with him.

“We are satisfied, but we can regret the opportunities we had. We were able to take the lead with Budimir in the first half, but all in all we did not give up after the unfortunate first match against Austria [3-0 defeat]. The atmosphere was great, as it is usually here in Poljud [Hajduk Split stadium].

“What does the strongest team mean to the French? If the French came to the World Cup with their third team, they would still be equal with everyone! We showed our true face. Everyone wrote us off after Austria. Croatia is always the strongest when it matters most.”

Josip Juranovic determined after Croatia draw against France

You have to appreciate the fighting spirit that’s on show from Josip here. It hasn’t exactly been a great start to their Nations League campaign with 1 point out of 6. However, there were plenty of positives to take out of their display against France individually.

Juranovic himself had a mixed night. He was outpaced by Juventus midfielder Rabiot for the opener. However, he made several great blocks with stat-trackers Fotmob clocking as many as 10 recoveries from him

Upcoming matches against Denmark and a return game against France give him a chance to turn the international camp into a positive one for him both as an individual and for his country.

Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

There’s undoubtedly a challenge mounting for Josip with Bayern Munich defender Josip Stanisic breathing down his neck. But it’s one he’s generally thrived in as he’s cemented himself as his country’s top choice at right-back.

Strong displays against Denmark and France will be all he’s focused on now. With the World Cup getting closer and closer, he won’t want to make any major slips at this point of the run-in.

A big week is coming up for Josip. Hopefully, he rises to the occasion just as he has done since breaking into the Croatia senior squad.

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