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Croatia can stand up to any team in the world: Luka Modric

The Tottenham playmaker was at the heart of a fluid Croatian performance as they comfortably overcame Giovanni Trapattoni’s men, and hopes to see a repeat against the Italians.


Croatia’s Nikica Jelavic (right) scores past Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given

“Italy will be amazing game for us, I hope we can repeat this performance and beat them,” said Modric. “It is going to be different, but we have to prepare well. The way we played tonight, we can play against anyone in the world.”

Mario Mandzukic got the Balkan side off to a great start with an early goal but Sean St Ledger restored parity midway through the first half.

Ireland then began to take a back seat in the match and they were punished with two more goals courtesy of Nikica Jelavic and Mandzukic either side of the break.

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