DOHA: Star Croatian midfielder Luka Modric has achieved a unique feat during the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
After appearing in his side first match of the mega event against Morocco on Wednesday, Modric became the first player to play in a FIFA World Cup and a UEFA EURO in three different decades.
Modric, 37, said recently he would end his international career after the World Cup in Qatar.
Croatia’s remaining group stage matches are against Canada and Belgium on November 27 and December 1, respectively.
Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic guided the side to the final four years ago, where they lost to France, a historic achievement for a country of 3.9 million people.
However, Modric says his team must "put aside" the memories of their run to the 2018 World Cup final.
Modric was named player of the tournament four years ago as Croatia reached the final for the first time before losing 4-2 to France in Moscow.
"Whatever we´ve been through during the 2018 World Cup was an unforgettable experience but we need to put it aside and focus on what is ahead of us," Modric said on Tuesday.
"Many players from Russia are not here. We have new players, fresh blood and new energy.
"We also have some veteran players who have helped the young ones adjust. This is a new tournament and we have to look at it this way. We have to leave it all out on the pitch."
The Real Madrid midfielder, who won the 2018 Ballon d´Or, is playing at his fourth World Cup — which is being held outside its traditional European summer slot for the first time.
"We´re full of energy, we´re not exhausted, we´re not at the end of the season," said Modric.
Argentina´s shock defeat by Saudi Arabia sent shockwaves through the tournament and Croatia will be on their guard against a talented Morocco side.
"We´re quite cautious. What happened today makes us even more cautious," said coach Zlatko Dalic.
"Today´s results, with Saudi Arabia and Tunisia (who drew 0-0 with Denmark), mean that we have to be careful."
"This World Cup is different to the one in Russia but we know our objectives," he added.
"We know the pressure and expectations are great but we won´t fall into that trap. We´ll give our best. Will it be enough? We shall see."