Luka Modric escaped significant injury in Croatia's 1-1 Euro 2020 qualifying draw with Wales, with Real Madrid confirming he suffered bruising to his right quadriceps.

The midfielder had to be helped from the pitch by Croatia's medical staff with a minute of normal time remaining, having received a knock when he fouled Harry Wilson and earned a booking in Cardiff on Sunday.

He underwent tests after returning to his club, with the results announced on Tuesday.

"Following the tests carried out today on our player Luka Modric by the Real Madrid medical department, he has been diagnosed with a contusion to his right quadriceps," a statement from Madrid read.

"His recovery will continue to be assessed."

Zinedine Zidane's side resume their LaLiga campaign with a trip to Mallorca on Saturday.

Zlatko Dalic played down initial concerns over Luka Modric's fitness after the Real Madrid midfielder was injured in Croatia's 1-1 Euro 2020 qualifying draw with Wales.

Modric had to be helped off the field by Croatia's medical staff with a minute of normal time remaining, having taken a knock as he fouled Harry Wilson and earned a booking in Cardiff on Sunday.

However, head coach Dalic soon explained the issue and hoped Modric would be able to make a swift recovery, with key matches to come for both Croatia – still chasing Euro 2020 qualification – and LaLiga leaders Madrid.

"[Modric] got hit in the muscle, which is awkward and quite painful, so he had to go off," said Dalic, as reported by Gol.hr.

"He will certainly need a two to three-day break, but I hope he will be alright."

Croatia would have qualified for next year's European Championships by beating Wales away from home, yet Gareth Bale's strike late in the first half cancelled out Nikola Vlasic's opener.

Vlasic conceded he was a little surprised by Wales' lack of ambition after equalising, given they are fourth in Group E and progress is now no longer in their hands.

Only a half-chance for Daniel James saw either goalkeeper worked in the second period.

"I think [Wales] did well in defence," Vlasic said. "They were very compact - they knew what we were doing. They clearly analysed our match in Slovakia [a 4-0 Croatia win].

"We retreated a little after taking the lead because we knew this was an important match for them. They had to go forward, so we expected that they would open up more.

"But they closed everything pretty well. We didn't manage to create five or six chances after half-time as in the first half.

"They didn't want to play with us because they know we're a better team and this is a big point for them."

Ryan Giggs was optimistic Wales superstar Gareth Bale had only suffered from cramp as he hobbled out of a combative clash with Croatia on Sunday.

Bale scored Wales' equaliser in Cardiff as they drew 1-1 with Group E leaders Croatia in Euro 2020 qualifying, although the result leaves Giggs' men with plenty of work to do.

The Real Madrid winger was one of three Wales players who appeared to take a knock, with Dan James recovering from an early blow, Ethan Ampadu later substituted off, and Bale then limping badly after indicating a calf issue.

Giggs assured both James and Ampadu were fine, while he was hopeful on Bale's status.

"Gareth's just got a bit of cramp towards the end," he told Sky Sports. "He didn't want to come off, though.

"It was a fantastic performance from Gareth, it was just a shame that he did get that - it was about 10 minutes really at the end, so we were down one player really.

"But it looks like it's just cramp."

The James and Ampadu incidents were both rugged aerial challenges that earned yellow cards, while Luka Modric injured himself while hacking at Harry Wilson.

Giggs cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines but insisted his issue was with Croatia slowing Wales' attacks rather than with the strength of the tackles.

Asked if he was upset by Croatia's approach, the coach replied: "Yeah, a little bit. But they're smart players.

"It's not about looking for players to get booked - they're just stopping our flow, which they're good at. It's something we need to get better at.

"They're smart. Good players and smart, as well. It was more the stopping of the flow of us counter-attacking that I was complaining about really. It's a physical game and we've come through it well."

Wales must now win their remaining two matches - against Azerbaijan and Hungary - and hope Slovakia drop points, but Giggs is happy with the permutations.

"We're in it. After these two games [including a draw in Slovakia], I wanted to be in it," he said. "We've got two games which won't be easy against two tough teams.

"We'll look forward to those games - it's exciting. Get it down to that second game with Hungary here."

James added: "[Croatia] have shown what a great team they are, top of the group. They came here and I know we lost in the summer but it was about bouncing back from that. Today, we got a good result."

Real Madrid looked to be dealt a double blow on Sunday as Luka Modric and Gareth Bale both picked up injuries on international duty.

Croatia's Modric travelled to Wales hoping to secure their Euro 2020 qualification but was frustrated as Madrid team-mate Bale netted an equaliser in a 1-1 draw in Cardiff.

Neither side was able to force a winner, yet they each ended the match hindered by issues to their key men.

Modric was booked for wiping out Harry Wilson a minute from time but injured himself in the process and had to be helped from the pitch by Croatia's medical staff.

As Modric received treatment, Bale turned to the Wales physios as he appeared to indicate an issue with his calf.

While Modric was substituted, Bale played on through the eight minutes of stoppage time, clearly limping and remaining on the field merely to make up the numbers.

Wales saw their hopes of Euro 2020 qualification taken out of their own hands as they could only draw 1-1 at home to Group E leaders Croatia.

Fourth in the pool heading into a crunch clash in Cardiff following a slow start to the campaign, Ryan Giggs' men suffered another setback on Sunday as they trailed to Nikola Vlasic's early goal.

Gareth Bale struck shortly before half-time to lift Wales, yet they could not get the crucial second goal and were forced to settle for a point.

Wales now require a helping hand from opponents Croatia when they face Slovakia, with the World Cup finalists themselves still to secure a place at the finals after failing to win here.

Croatia took control from the outset and had to wait just nine minutes for the opener, with Josip Brekalo dancing in from the left and Bruno Petkovic teeing up Vlasic to shoot low past Wayne Hennessey via the left-hand post.

Only a stunning, stooping Hennessey save denied Ivan Perisic a quick second with a 12-yard header, although a stoppage for Dan James to receive treatment for an apparent head injury slowed the visitors' momentum.

Wales continued to toil until the vital equaliser arrived from a predictable source three minutes into the consequent added period, as Ben Davies picked out Bale to fire beyond Dominik Livakovic.

The home side improved following the restart but chances were at a premium, with only a shaky Livakovic fumble from James' drive offering the Welsh fans any real excitement in front of goal.

A combative match took its toll in the closing stages, too, as Luka Modric was substituted with an injury and Bale ended the contest hobbling badly.


What does it mean? Help required

The fates of these two sides are now intertwined, as Wales can only qualify if Croatia also do so by stopping Slovakia. Both teams would expect to win their remaining fixtures and advance, but Giggs' men have slipped up too many times already in this group for progression to be considered a given at this stage.

Davies desire turns contest

A draw was a relatively disappointing result for Wales, but they might have come away empty-handed had Davies not intervened. For while Bale got the leveller, it did not look like coming until the determined defender charged forward - injuring Mateo Kovacic in the challenge - and slid in his clinical colleague. Davies was effective at both ends throughout.

Rugged Croatia pay the price

Wales were unimpressed with some rough challenges from their opponents, as James and Ethan Ampadu were both hit hard - the latter had to be substituted. But the numerous flashpoints also cost Croatia, with centre-backs Domagoj Vida and Dejan Lovren each picking up bookings that will keep them out of their key meeting with Slovakia.

What's next?

Wales go to Azerbaijan and then host Hungary in a key qualifying double-header next month, while Croatia welcome Slovakia before a friendly against Georgia.

Gareth Bale says he wants to finally get one over on Luka Modric when Croatia visit Wales in Euro 2020 qualifying.

The Real Madrid team-mates will be the two biggest stars on show for Sunday's Group E game in Cardiff.

Croatia lead the pool on 13 points with Wales six back in fourth spot, although Ryan Giggs' side have a game in hand.

Wales drew away to Slovakia on Thursday, Bale sustaining a knee injury, but he is expected to be fit to face Croatia.

The forward is looking forward to testing himself against Ballon d'Or winner Modric, Croatia having won the reverse game 2-1 in June.

"Whenever we have played we've always lost by one goal and it’s always been quite a tight game," Bale told reporters.

"We know what a great team they are, they had a great World Cup and they have shown year after year how good they actually are.

"We know it is going to be very tough, but I think being at home gives us a little bit more of an advantage and we know the Welsh crowd will be behind us.

"We've played together for a long time in Tottenham and Real Madrid so we know each other quite well. It would be nice to get one over on him finally because they have beaten us a few times in the past."

Bale is one booking away from missing a qualifier through suspension, which he accepts will be on his mind against Croatia.

"I can't make too many silly tackles or anything, I have to be mindful of that," Bale said. "I don't want to miss any games for Wales and especially at the crunch time of the group.

"I guess I have to be clever with what I'm doing but maybe I have to expect that someone is going to wind me up to get me suspended."

Luka Modric has become the latest Real Madrid player to be struck down by injury ahead of an important run of matches.

Tests undertaken on Thursday confirmed an adductor issue for midfielder Modric, who looks highly likely to miss this weekend's LaLiga fixture against Levante.

Zinedine Zidane's men then commence their Champions League campaign away to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, before returning to Spain for a tough trip to Sevilla.

Modric, 34, completed two full matches for Croatia during the international break but now joins Isco, Marco Asensio and Brahim Diaz in the treatment room, while James Rodriguez and Eden Hazard have also suffered in recent weeks.

Madrid's statement read: "Following the tests carried out on our player Luka Modric by Real Madrid's medical department, he has been diagnosed with a muscular injury to the adductor in his right leg.

"His recovery will continue to be assessed."

Modric's appearances in Euro 2020 qualifying for Croatia included a goal against Azerbaijan, the Ballon d'Or winner converting a penalty in the 1-1 draw.

Ivan Rakitic pulled out of the Croatia squad over uncertainty about his Barcelona future, Zlatko Dalic has confirmed.

Croatia's head coach revealed rumoured Juventus target Rakitic would not be able to focus on the national team until his club situation is resolved.

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde has only used Rakitic, who was reportedly offered to Paris Saint-Germain in a proposed deal for Neymar, for 44 minutes over the course of the club's three LaLiga matches this season.

Serie A champions Juve are thought to be interested and the Italian giants have until 20:00 local time (19:00 BST) Monday to finalise a deal before the transfer window shuts.

"I talked to Rakitic, who has not yet resolved his status at the club and is not ready for the national team at the moment and would not be able to give his maximum," Dalic told a news conference.

"I do not have time now to deal with what will happen in the future. Hopefully it will work out for the best."

Rakitic is not the only Croatia midfielder unavailable for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Slovakia and Azerbaijan.

Vatreni medical staff assessed Mateo Kovacic following his arrival in camp and diagnosed the Chelsea player with an inflamed Achilles tendon in his right leg.

The 25-year-old played 83 minutes of Saturday's 2-2 Premier League draw against Sheffield United.

Mijo Caktas replaces Kovacic in the squad, while Marko Rog is in for Rakitic.

Croatia, World Cup finalists in 2018, sit third in Group E with six points from three games.

Luka Modric described winning the Ballon d'Or as a unique honour after beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann to the individual award.

Modric is the first Croatia player to win the Ballon d'Or and his triumph at Monday's ceremony ends the decade-long dominance of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who have five titles apiece.

Croatia's run to the World Cup final earned Modric the Russia 2018 Golden Ball and he was also given FIFA's The Best Men's Player award earlier in the year.

But the France Football-organised Ballon d'Or is still considered the top individual honour in world football, with Modric delighted to be recognised as the finest player on the planet in 2018.

"It's a unique feeling, I'm happy, proud and it's an honour," Modric said on collecting the prize. "[There are] extraordinary emotions at the moment. 

"I just want to thank all those who helped me to be here tonight, I thank my team-mates, my coaches, the staff and Real Madrid, all those who work there, the coaches and team-mates in the national team, the ones who voted for me and my family, which allows me to blossom as a person.

"Always have dreams, I wanted to play in a big club, win titles, the Ballon d'Or is all I could dream [about] as a child, it's an honour to win it tonight.

"It's a great pleasure to be here around these players. I keep thinking, I'm trying to get used to being part of this group of exceptional players who have won the Ballon d'Or in history. It's a great pleasure to be part of this group.

"Throughout my career I understood that work, persistence, believing in yourself, is the basis for expressing your talent. I like a saying - the best is never easy. For me, it was not easy. It was necessary to seize the opportunities."

Real Madrid midfielder Modric feels playing deeper in midfield for club and country has enabled him to take his game to the next level.

"To change position allowed me to develop my game, before I was more an offensive player," said Modric, who won a third consecutive Champions League title with Madrid this year.

"When I retreated, I had a better vision of the game, I could better express my creativity, my game. In my second year in Tottenham, I played as a midfielder and I felt better in the middle."

Ronaldo finished second in the voting, with Atletico Madrid striker and France international Griezmann in third after winning both the World Cup and the Europa League in 2018.

Kylian Mbappe missed out on a place in the top three but was given the inaugural Kopa Trophy for the world's best male player aged under 21.

Luka Modric has been crowned the winner of the Ballon d'Or, capping a wonderful 2018 for the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder.

The Ballon d'Or has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the past decade, the rivals winning the award five times apiece.

But Modric's impact in Croatia's run to the World Cup final, coupled with Madrid winning the Champions League for the third year in a row, saw him triumph.

Modric - also crowned FIFA's Best Men's Player this year - pipped World Cup winners including Raphael Varane, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann to the award.

Lionel Messi has missed out on a place in the Ballon d'Or's top three for the first time since 2006.

Messi has won the award five times, dominating the France Football prize with Cristiano Ronaldo for the past decade.

But it was confirmed on Monday that the Barcelona superstar had finished fifth in the voting for the 2018 award.

Luka Modric is the favourite to win this year's Ballon d'Or, the 33-year-old expected to pip Ronaldo to the prize.

The Real Madrid midfielder helped his side win a third consecutive Champions League title and starred in the World Cup.

Croatia reached the final of the tournament for the first time with Modric inspirational, winning the Golden Ball for his efforts.

 

Ballon d'Or final placings: 

29= Isco (Real Madrid), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)

28= Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)

25= Alisson (Roma/Liverpool), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

22= Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid)

19= Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

17= Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

16= Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

15= Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

14= Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea/Real Madrid)

13= Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

12= Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) 

11= N'Golo Kante (Chelsea)

10= Harry Kane (Tottenham)

9= Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

8= Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

7= Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)

6= Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

5= Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Lionel Messi, Neymar and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe are among the final players named on the 30-man Ballon d'Or shortlist. 

Danniel Thomas-Dodd, the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion, has revealed that injury was responsible for her dramatic loss of form that caused her to miss out on a medal at the  season-ending IAAF Continental Cup in Croatia on Sunday.

Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres warmed up for this weekend’s IAAF Continental Cup with an impressive win in the IWC Zagreb World Challenge meeting in Croatia on Tuesday.

France are world champions for the second time after winning a scintillating final against Croatia that epitomised a tournament packed with drama, goals, glory and heartache. 

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