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Majestic Modrić 'deserves to be talked about'

Ante Čačić described Luka Modrić's goal as "magic" and hailed the Croatia midfielder's all-round display as pivotal in seeing off Turkey, leaving Fatih Terim seeking improvement.

Luka Modrić after scoring Croatia's winner against Turkey
Luka Modrić after scoring Croatia's winner against Turkey ©AFP/Getty Images

Ante Čačić, Croatia coach
Luka [Modrić] deserves to be talked about – this was one of his best matches. He really played well, he was our leader. He scored this magic goal and it turned out to be the only one of the game. We need Luka in this form because, when he is, the whole team looks different. It looks better and more aggressive.

I expected a very tough match. The first game is always very hard for both teams – it was tough for us but we stood up well. After we scored we held on well, we had more possession and chances to get more goals, but I have to be satisfied because it's really important to win the first game. It sets you up for the next two matches.

We had chances. It's not easy to score more than once but we were unlucky. We hit the bar twice, [Ivan] Perišić had some opportunities. But we didn't protect our lead, instead we showed the desire to score one or two more goals.

We've been together for three weeks and I trust this group of players. I know how hard they work and they showed that today. We had it under control for 90 minutes, there was no panic for us.

We're not taking anything for granted, we don't think we're already through. I said to my players I was more scared of the Czech Republic than Turkey. We must forget this win as soon as possible – it's important the whole team focus on the next match, not the past.

Croatia want a good result in every match. We'll give our all against the Czech Republic and Spain. We'll try to improve on what went wrong today, and try to be better.

Ivan Perišić hails best Croatia team for years
Ivan Perišić hails best Croatia team for years

Luka Modrić, Croatia midfielder
I'm satisfied with my game but above all I'm satisfied with the performance of the whole team. I think we played a phenomenal match, with a good rhythm from start to finish, without any moments of hesitation, and we deservedly won in the end.

It was very important to make a good start, we made that first step and now up next are Czech Republic. We must not stop here, we must continue in the same rhythm and I believe we will get a result.

[Our] support was phenomenal. In difficult moments, especially, they pushed us forward. I want to offer my praise to them, because they are real supporters of Croatia.

Darijo Srna, Croatia defender
Winning is the most important thing – the first game is the most important, no matter what we say. We took a huge step forward, but we shouldn't give into the euphoria. We played our best, but we still have two games ahead. Today we showed what we are capable of. I'm sorry we didn't score another two or three goals; we didn't get that slice of luck.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Turkey midfielder
We started the game pretty well, but unfortunately we gave them too much of the ball. They had more possession than us.

It is always bad to concede a goal just before half-time, but for me, we started the second half pretty well. It was high tempo. We put the pressure on their goal. Sometimes we blocked them too, but unfortunately today we weren't lucky. But we are not going to give up. We will do our best. We have to stay strong and we have to prepare ourselves for the games to come.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu calls for resolve from Turkey
Hakan Çalhanoğlu calls for resolve from Turkey

Fatih Terim, Turkey coach
We played well in the first half. Croatia were better than us in the second, but we had a big chance to score the first goal. If we'd got that, it would have been different. In the second half, especially after 60 minutes, we dropped physically and Croatia were better than us – they had more chances.

We tried to regroup but we didn't get what we expected from our substitutes. It's not over till it's over. We played against a very strong side. If Croatia go through, they can go very far. On this stage, we need to produce more. We'll take lessons from today's game; sometimes your substitutions don't work. We have two more games, against Spain and the Czech Republic, and we'll do our best. We'll keep fighting.

We never start tournaments well. I'm upset, but we'll take our lessons from this.

Turkey have a way of playing, a certain formation, tactics and philosophy. There was nothing surprising for me but I didn't expect us to drop so much in the second half. I thought we'd have more possession. The first half was an even game but we didn't produce enough up front. The lessons from this game? We shouldn't lose the ball easily and we should run and fight more.

Our big players need to deliver more. It's a team game but I have high expectations from them and, if they deliver enough, we'll get some good results.