Croatia defender, Dejan Lovren, has lauded Luka Modric's incredible talent and insists his fellow countryman deserves to make the shortlist for the Balon d'Or every year.
On Tuesday Croatia will face off against Iceland with Argentina and Nigeria fans keeping an eye on the scoreline as their progress depends on Croatia's result as well.
"I've said it loads of times but Modric is fantastic. Right now, he's one of the best players in the world. If Luka was Spanish or German he'd always be amongst the top three players and could win a Ballon d'Or. But Croatia is a small country and as such receives less attention," according to Lovren.
Lovren also wanted to assure Argentinan and Nigerian fans that Croatia wouldn't take it easy against Iceland.
"I understand their stance perfectly and I'm sure they will be changes, it's to be expected, as we don't need to risk players who are on a booking. But we want to win and we aren't going there just to watch the other team play."
The defender, who plays for Liverpool, also praised the job of Croatia's coach Zlatko Dalic. "Zlatko has created a fantastic atmosphere with us. We've had a fantastic relationship with the coach since he arrived. He knows how to talk to his players. He isn't our best friend but he understands us. There's a high level we must maintain," he added.
Lovren also spoke about Brazil and Philippe Coutinho, who he played with at Liverpool but is now at Barcelona. "I've watched all of his matches. Brazil are playing well but they haven't reached their best level yet and I hope they don't! Coutinho is a fantastic player and that's plain to see," concluded Lovren.