Speaking in detail ahead of round two between Croatia and England after this summer's World Cup semi-final, Luka Modric praised Three Lions captain Harry Kane, stating that he is already 'one of the best in the world'.
Croatia captain Modric, says the Tottenham Hotspur star has already established himself as one of the best finishers in the world, but warned Kane's goal-scoring prowess can only improve.
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"If you look at the number of goals he is scoring for Tottenham Hotspur, taking them into the Premier League title race which isn't easy because other clubs are investing more money, then he's proved himself one of the world's best forwards already." The ex-Spurs midfielder declared, as reported by the Mirror.
Modric, 33, continued: "If he continues to develop, he can achieve even more, but he's already one of the best in the world."
The Croat, who led his nation to their first World Cup final, conquering England in the semi-final before being upstaged by France, also succumbed to a humiliating 6-0 defeat to Spain last month.
As a result, Croatia cannot afford to lose against England if they are to avoid relegation from the UEFA Nations League group, and yet Modric has insisted that they will be ready to face England again, even if the game is being played behind closed doors.
"This is an important game, especially after the game against Spain. We want to feel better about ourselves. We'll see if England are better than during the World Cup. They have a lot of the same players, but, with some injuries, some new ones too. It'll be tough.
"It's a strange environment for both teams, playing in front of an empty stadium, but it's important for us to achieve a good result. It's hard to play without fans, but we have to adapt to that."
Modric caused somewhat of a media storm following England's defeat to Croatia in the World Cup, claiming that England had underestimated their European counterparts. However, Modric has sought to clear any bad blood by insisting that his comments had been misinterpreted.
"When I said that [being underestimated] after the game, it wasn't meant to be the players or the head coach, but more in regards to the media and some commentary we could read or watch. We felt a bit disrespected, not appreciated as much as we deserve.
“It was extra motivation for our team, even in a World Cup semi-final when you don't need extra motivation. That's how we felt. That's how I felt. Is that a problem for England? That's something you have to answer yourself and analyse."