Luka Modrić’s gesture of sportsmanship on the Maksimir pitch has left many in awe. Just moments after celebrating Croatia’s qualification for Euro 2024, Modrić went to the dressing room of Armenia and offered Ognjen Čančarević, the Serbian goalkeeper who plays for Armenia, a special gift. Čančarević recounted how he had promised his son that he would play against the best in the world, and when his son asked if it was Mbappé or Haaland, Čančarević replied that it was Luka Modrić. The gift was a jersey and Čančarević praised Modrić as the best football player in their region, expressing his honor and privilege to play against him.
After the match, Čančarević congratulated Croatia on their victory and their well-deserved qualification to Euro 2024. He acknowledged that Armenia had tried to impose themselves with a young team without two standard players but felt that they had succeeded in the first half before Budimir’s goal disrupted their efforts. He also expressed his belief that Croatia can go far in the Euros despite their result crisis, emphasizing their experience and ability to play in big competitions.
In an interview at a Croatian festival, Čančarević also commented on the poor state of the stadium. He agreed that it is a problem that needs to be addressed and highlighted that while such stadiums are commonplace in Serbia, he believes that a national team with this level of success deserves better facilities. He expressed hope for change soon so that future generations can enjoy top-quality matches at home.