Mason Mount is eager to face Luka Modric again – barely a month after the England star was left speechless when one of his childhood heroes asked for his shirt.
The Chelsea midfielder faced the 35-year-old veteran in the Champions League semi-finals and was instrumental in eliminating Real Madrid before winning the final against Manchester City.
And Mount will have another chance to test himself against Modric on Sunday, with England facing Croatia in their Euro 2020 opener – which is live on talkSPORT.
“He’s always been a player that I admire,” said Mount. “Since he’s been in the Premier League with Tottenham, I’ve watched him very closely.
“Playing against him was weird because I had watched him so much, I kind of knew his moves and what he was going to do.
“It helps to be a fan of a player and then play against him because you know what he likes to do.
“The experience of playing against him helps because you want to be in those big games and learn to deal with the pressure and the big moments.
“These two games were huge in our race and I gained a lot of experience from them.”
Mount not only played against Modric but won his jersey, with the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner going on to request his jersey at Stamford Bridge.
“I spoke to (Mateo) Kovacic before the first game and asked him if I could get his jersey at a later date,” he said.
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“I managed to do it and he asked me for mine in the second game because I didn’t give him mine in the first.
“Kova said he liked to interact with the players so he came over and said he wanted mine and just said good luck for the next few games.
“It was great for me obviously talking to him and he wants my shirt so I was pretty overwhelmed, yeah.”
When asked what it was like to know Modric wanted his shirt, he smiled and replied, “Special. I have it at home with a few others that I have had in the last couple of months or so. It’s always good to keep those special shirts.
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