Modric confident Croatia can match Germany

Luka Modric is confident Croatia will rise to the challenge when they face Germany in their second Group B game on Thursday.

The Tottenham-bound midfielder scored the only goal from the penalty spot as Croatia beat co-hosts Austria in their opening match but Germany promise to provide their toughest group game in Klagenfurt.

"I love the big challenges and I play better when under pressure," he said. "The match against Germany is exactly what I like.

"We have a lot of self-confidence, and despite the poor second half against Austria, I'm convinced that we can do well against Germany."

Modric admitted his own performance was below-par during the second half, along with the rest of the team, and he also suffered a strained tendon, which ruled him out of training on Monday.

But coach Slaven Bilic confirmed the 22-year-old is fit to face Germany, stressing just how important he is to Croatia's hopes of Euro glory.

"Modric is OK," he said. "He received a knock against Austria but he will be ready for Germany.

"He's a type of player who can play anywhere in the midfield, up front or more defensively. He's our best player - without him we would be half of what we are.

"I told him that I expect him to be the best player at the tournament," Bilic added. "Not to put more weight on his shoulders but because I mean it.

"Modric is a calm player and very mature for his age. That's why he's our penalty taker."

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