Spurs star excited by Italy test and hails Everton ace

07:44 11 June 2012

Tottenham

Tottenham's Luka Modric (right) hopes to leave the club this summer. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

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Luka Modric can’t wait to face the four-time World Champions in Poznan

Tottenham star Luka Modric is relishing taking on 2006 World Champions Italy on June 14 in Croatia’s second game at Euro 2012.

The midfielder, who has been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea in recent weeks, knows that his country, who top the group after beating the Republic of Ireland 3-1 with Spain and Italy drawing, must prepare well.

“Italy will be amazing game for us, I hope we can repeat this performance and beat them,” he told reporters.

“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.

“That game [Spain - Italy] didn’t bother us that much, we were thinking only about ourchallenge, now we have four days to set minds on Italy.”

Modric also singled out Everton striker Nikica Jelavic for special praise after he grabbed one of the three goals.

“Of course it is very important for me to play for Croatia, however different it is to play at club level.

“There is a pressure on us, people’s expectations are high and hopefully we played great game tonight and fulfilled them, we made fans happy.

“Now it’s time to prepare for Thursday. I think overall our performance from each player was excellent, we dominated the Irish in each part of the game, we didn’t allow them to have so many set-pieces as we knew how dangerous they are.

“They scored one from them. We were well prepared. It was important to score goals in the right time, we did it, that lift us and we were amazing.

“Jelavic brought his league form to the national team, Madzukic as well but overall, every player was on high level.

“Jelavic improved massively going to the Premier League. He was great for Rangers but Premier League is different; faster and more physical. He is perfect for the Premier League, has everything to suceed.”

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