Modric: "I never doubted that I would triumph at Real Madrid"
The Croatian midfielder says he's thrilled to extend his contract to 2020 and hopes it won't be the last renewal and said he hopes "to retire at Real Madrid".
Luka Modric faced the press after signing a contract extension which will keep him at Real Madrid until June 2020 when he will be 35. The Croatian jokingly said that he hopes it won't be his last contract renewal and revealed that his plan is to retire at Real Madrid.
Sensations: "It's a very special day for me. I feel very happy, very emotional to sign a new contract with Real Madrid, the best club in the world. I would like to thank the club and the president Florentino Pérez for having faith in me. I promise to continue working hard to meet the demands set by the club, and I hope to gain many more successes here".
Knee injury and possible return: "I feel fine - every day a little better. I am working hard so that I can return as soon as possible but I can't say when I will be back with the team, I am taking it one day at a time and I hope to be back soon".
After a difficult period when you first joined, how did you manage to earn the admiration of everyone at Real Madrid... "With hard work every day, by battling to succeed. I had confidence in my own abilities right from the start. I never doubted myself or that I could triumph here".
Changing the rhythm of the team's game and shooting with the outside of the boot: "It comes out naturally, it's not something I practice. I suppose you've got it or you haven't...".
Flack at the beginning
Were you hurt by the criticism you received when you first arrived? "No, not at all. Like I said earlier, I wasn't hurt by what people said. I knew I was coming to the biggest club in the world and I was ready to fight. I never had second thoughts, I knew I'd make it here".
Is this the best squad you have played in? “It could be the best, yes. There's a lot of quality - two or three players for each position. Since I have been here we have only missed out on the league and that is our priority; a club like Real Madrid cannot go for so long without winning the league”.
Will you retire after completing this contract: “I hope this isn't my last renewal! I am 31 and for some people that seems very old but I feel good, fit and healthy. My desire is to retire from playing at Real Madrid and with this contract extension I am closer to doing that.
"As I am still playing I don't really look too far ahead to the future and I haven't thought about it much but I would like to stay in football but I don't know in what kind of role - we'll see what's on offer!".
Best and worst memories at Madrid: “The worst? always injuries - the thigh injury in suffered in 2014 was perhaps the worst. And the best - winning trophies and joining Real Madrid. The best was probably winning La Décima in Lisbon, and also Milan”.
Players coming though
Message to the younger players: “I'd tell them to keep faith in themselves and their abilities, keep working hard and never give up. Having quality alone is not enough at a club like Real Madrid - you also need to be mentally strong. There are examples in the current team of players who had to leave to show the players they are and now they are back. The important thing is to never give up”.