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‘Never a penalty!’ – Fans slate referee for ‘stupidest decision ever seen in a major final’

Luka Modric was left reeling at the match official as Argentina secured their place in the World Cup final with a 3-0 win over Croatia.

  • Croatia knocked out after 3-0 defeat
  • Modric misses second World Cup final chance
  • 37-year-old’s penultimate World Cup match

WHAT HAPPENED? Modric, who often does not surround himself in controversy, had some choice words for Italian referee Daniele Orsato after Croatia’s 3-0 semi-final defeat to Argentina at the Lusail Stadium, calling his performance a “disaster”. It was the second Argentina match during the tournament that the Italian has officiated, and the 47-year-old awarded the Albiceleste a first-half penalty after Dominik Livakovic’s foul on Julian Alvarez, which Leo Messi converted to give the South American side a 1-0 lead. An Alvarez brace followed as Lionel Scaloni’s side progressed to the showpiece event.

WHAT THEY SAID: “Argentina was a fair winner of the match, they were better, they deserved to win, but these things have to be mentioned, I generally don’t do them, but today they have to be done,” Modric said after the game. ”I don’t like to talk about referees , but this is one of the worst. I don’t have a good memory of [Orsato], he’s a disaster. For me it wasn’t a penalty.”

The Croatia captain added: ”Despite this, I don’t want to detract from Argentina. The penalty killed us. We have to recover for third place and win that match.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: However, despite Modric’s criticism of Orsato’s performance, he wished Messi well as the Argentina captain has one final chance to get his hands on the World Cup in Sunday’s final at the Lusail Stadium.

”Congratulations and I wish good luck in the final to Messi. He is having an amazing tournament and he’s showing his greatness and quality,” said Modric.

WHAT NEXT FOR MODRIC? The 37-year-old’s World Cup campaign is not done just yet, as Croatia now have the third-place playoff to contest against either Morocco or France on Saturday at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.