Luka Modric a doubt for Croatia's key World Cup 2014 clash with Cameroon after picking up foot injury in Brazil defeat

  • Real Madrid midfielder was taken to hospital after feeling game in defeat
  • Modric's absence in Croatia's second group game would be a huge loss
  • Croatia lost 3-1 to Brazil after a questionable penalty decision

By Oliver Todd

As if losing 3-1 with some controversial refereeing decisions playing a key part wasn't harsh enough on Croatia, they could be set to lose star playmaker Luka Modric for their must-win game against Cameroon.

Real Madrid midfielder Modric is a doubt for Croatia's second game after picking up a foot injury in his side's loss to Brazil in the tournament opener.

Croatia team officials said that Modric was taken to a hospital in Salvador, near the squad's training base, to check the extent of his injury after feeling pain.

Marked man: Modric is Croatia's key man in midfield but is likely to be missing when they face Cameroon

Marked man: Modric is Croatia's key man in midfield but is likely to be missing when they face Cameroon

Modric's absence in the June 18 match against Cameroon would be a major blow for Croatia, who sit joint bottom of Group A with the African outfit, who lost 1-0 against Mexico on Friday.

The skillful Real Madrid midfielder is the backbone of the powerful Croatian midfield and could prove difficult to replace, although his absence could allow Barcelona-bound Ivan Rakitic to move into a more familiar advanced role.

Modric has been in brilliant form for Real, becoming a key cog of the Champions League winning side after a difficult first season in Spain.

Painful: Modric picked up a foot injury in the defeat to Brazil that saw him taken to a Salvador hospital

Painful: Modric picked up a foot injury in the defeat to Brazil that saw him taken to a Salvador hospital

Talented: Modric is Croatia's star man and will be sorely missed in what is a must-win clash on June 18

Talented: Modric is Croatia's star man and will be sorely missed in what is a must-win clash on June 18

Croatia could have caused an upset in the tournament opener against hosts Brazil but eventually lost out 3-1 with referee Yuichi Nishimura taking much of the blame for awarding a soft penalty when the score was 1-1.

Nishimura was also the subject of criticism for choosing not to give matchwinner Neymar a red card after he appeared to aim an elbow at Modric before going on to score twice.

Croatia are also missing Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic who picked up a two-game ban for a red card in their final World Cup qualifier against Iceland.

In the wars: The Croatia playmaker also took an elbow to the face from Brazil superstar Neymar on Thursday

In the wars: The Croatia playmaker also took an elbow to the face from Brazil superstar Neymar on Thursday

 

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

By posting your comment you agree to our house rules.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now