“It seems like both of them are from different planets and they came to play football with us mortals,” Rakitic said.“Both of them are among the best players ever in their positions. You try to enjoy it as much as you can, to learn from them.”Iniesta is regularly classed among the greats of the game and as a defining influence on Spain’s success, but Modric’s talents remain relatively unsung.Perhaps, in part, it is because Iniesta’s brilliance has been backed up by achievements on the world stage — he scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final — while Modric has not hit the same heights with Croatia.Modric owns four Champions League titles from his six years at Real Madrid, and has also won a La Liga and the Copa del Rey.Christian Eriksen is the main World Cup threat for Denmark © AFP / Jewel SAMADBut since making his Croatian debut in March 2006, in a friendly against Argentina, he has twice tasted disappointment in the group stage of the World Cup, either side of a failure even to qualify in 2010.At the European Championship, Croatia fell at the first hurdle after the group phase in 2008 and 2016 and did not make it out of their group in 2012.“Modric would probably be getting more attention than he is right now if he was a German or Spanish player,” Croatia defender Dejan Lovren said last week.“He would maybe even be a Ballon D’Or winner. But because we are a smaller country, he does get less attention than he deserves.”Modric has never even made it into the top three of football’s most prestigious individual award but, after scoring twice in Croatia’s opening three games in Russia, there is a chance for him finally to put his stamp on a major tournament.Iniesta and Spain could lie in wait in the quarter-finals but first, Croatia must overcome Denmark in the last 16 on Sunday in Nizhny Novgorod.Denmark trudged their way through an underwhelming Group C but they have their own midfield dynamo in Christian Eriksen who, like Modric once did, has flourished in the Premier League at Tottenham.Modric is deployed deeper for Real, tasked with moving the ball from back to front by wriggling his way forward and changing the angle of attacks. But for Croatia, his job is closer in kind to Eriksen’s, an executioner of killer passes in the final third.It means they are unlikely to be in direct combat in Novgorod but Modric and Eriksen’s battle for control could prove decisive.“I do not consider myself to be worse than him,” Eriksen said on Friday.“He is the type of player you enjoy to challenge yourself against. For the national team, he is more attacking than he is for Madrid.”Modric admittedly enjoys a stronger supporting cast, with Rakitic a particularly formidable midfield partner.But the stakes are also higher for the 32-year-old, who is probably playing his last World Cup and possibly has one final chance to make a mark on the international stage.“Sure, there’s a lot of pressure but I said from the beginning, when we got together for this tournament, that we need to enjoy this because it’s the World Cup,” Rakitic said.“We need to fight, to enjoy the tournament and do everything we can to make our fans happy.”0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Luka Modric is Croatia’s key man at the World Cup © AFP / PASCAL GUYOTSAINT PETERSBURG, Russian Federation, Jun 30 – Croatia head into their World Cup last-16 match against Denmark spearheaded by evergreen midfielder Luka Modric, a player his teammate Ivan Rakitic has compared to Spain’s Andres Iniesta.Four years with Iniesta at Barcelona and 11 alongside Modric for Croatia leaves Rakitic in a privileged position to judge two of the finest playmakers of the modern era.
Madeline Perz has lived on the cul-de-sac for 22 years. She doesn’t mind that her neighbors go all out for Halloween. “Isn’t that something? It’s wonderful. Every year something different,’ she said. They don’t decorate their yard. “Nothing can compare to it so we give up. We enjoy theirs,’ Perz said. DiFranco and Henke started decorating the inside of their home in 1991 when they threw a party for friends. The next year they decorated the yard with two skeletons doing a scene from “Hamlet.’ “And it grew and here we are,’ DiFranco said. The skeletons remain their constant players. Over the years, the bony crew has been featured in scenes which included a spaceship that crash landed in the yard, a circus tent made up of lights, and 20-foot-long pirate ships. Henke built these in the backyard and reassembled them in the front yard. “It’s a creative outlet. And it’s a way of sharing with everybody,’ he said. They usually draw about 120 kids and 100 adults for Halloween and wouldn’t mind getting more. Fellow haunter Dave Lisso, who works in Pomona, draws a lot of trick or treaters to his Lake Elsinore home as well. He has a full graveyard complete with a mausoleum. One side of his yard is meant for younger children with its inflatable cartoon characters while the other side is for older children. He views what he does as a chance to give back and spent about $3,000 in supplies and candy. The Haunters take pride on building their own stuff, he said. “It’s just something we do,’ Lisso said. “Halloween is one of the best times for us.’ Ruby Gonzales can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2718, or by e- mail at [email protected] AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week There are no dues, no officers and the logo is: “If you build it, they will scream!’ “We just get together and make things,’ DiFranco said. “For having such a bizarre hobby, they’re the most well-adjusted people I’ve known.’ There are 75 Haunters members. They found each other on the Internet and the group formed last April, DiFranco said. It spawned a Northern California chapter. Everything on the haunted midway was made by the couple and their friend, Mitch Friedman. This year they added animation. Hence, the party of grinning skeletons ride a moving carousel, Dracula’s coffin opens up, a witch stirs a cauldron and Madam Darvula’s crystal ball floats around her. On Halloween, music and fog will add to the atmosphere. “I enjoy it when someone stumbles into our yard accidentally,’ DiFranco said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! COVINA — This is not your typical carnival midway. At the “Kiss the Count’ booth, a buss goes for $5 and immortality for a mere $25,000. Feeling peckish? Skirt around the hapless soul who lays crushed beneath several pumpkins and head to the booth offering the “catch of the night.’ The thing that died before it got killed goes for 99 cents a pound. Welcome to Monica DiFranco and Thomas Henke’s yard on Rancho Del Sol Drive, featuring the spooky and whimsical every Halloween. Their house dubbed the “Maniac Mansion’ by friends also gets a ghastly makeover. The Covina couple belong to the Southern California chapter of the California Haunters’ Society, a group of Halloween enthusiasts who meet monthly to share ideas and Halloween-related items and props.