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How Pogba and Modric compare

France vs Croatia, Pogba vs Modric: Who wins the midfield maestro battle?

July 14, 2018 By Michelle Bonsu
Both Paul Pogba and Luka Modric have won numerous titles with their respective clubs, but only one will become a World Cup winner on Sunday. LiveSoccerTV takes a look at how these two midfield stars stack up ahead of Sunday's final.

After a month of entertaining action, the 2018 FIFA World Cup will come to its grand finale on Sunday as France prepare to battle Croatia.

Les Bleus and the Vatreni will match wits in what should be an interesting contest, and naturally, all eyes will be on the 22 men on the pitch as they vie for the biggest prize in world football.

Two of these players will be none other than midfield maestros Paul Pogba and Luka Modric.

Both are star players in their own right. Pogba, of course, won numerous Scudetti with Juventus before moving back to Manchester United, where he was involved in the squad that clinched the Europa League in 2017. In addition, he also earned a runners-up Champions League medal with the Bianconeri in 2015, being a key protagonist in the Italian side's impressive run to the finals that year.

Meanwhile, Modric is a serial title winner with Real Madrid. The 32-year-old notably has won four Champions Leagues - more than any other Croatian player - including three in a row from 2016 to 2018, as well as one La Liga title, among others.

Pogba has also won a national title - albeit with the youth squad. In 2013, the 25-year-old was part of France's under-20 World Cup winning team, and received the Golden Ball award in that competition. A year later, at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with the senior level, he won the Best Young Player prize despite Les Bleus failing to make it to the final.

Modric, by contrast, has not enjoyed the same level of success at national level. In fact, Croatia has never won any titles at any stage - whether it's the junior or senior squad - meaning that should the Vatreni win, it will truly be a monumental occasion in football for the tiny nation.

Past achievements aside, though, the important thing is how these two players have performed at this summer's World Cup. Both are among the stand-out players in a star-studded midfield, with Pogba being mentioned alongside Chelsea's N'Golo Kante and Modric part of group that includes Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic and Inter's Ivan Perisic.

So how do they stack up? Well, for starters, both have opened their respective World Cup accounts at this tournament. Pogba, to date, has netted one goal (although it was eventually given as an own goal to Australia's Aziz Behich), while Modric has scored twice. The first was a penalty against Nigeria, which was Croatia's first goal of the tournament, but the second was something people will remember for a long time.

Modric's long-range effort against Argentina is one for the highlights reel, and as a result of his brilliant showings, he has been nominated for the Man of the Match prize numerous times.

But it's not just the goals that Modric holds the advantage. In addition, the Croatian star has been involved in more chances than his French counterpart, with one assist versus Pogba's zero. Of course, the fact that Pogba has played over 150 minutes fewer than Modric certainly should be taken into consideration, as naturally, the Real Madrid star also will have covered significant more ground than the Manchester United ace.

However, despite having racked up fewer minutes, one thing to note is that Pogba's pass completion rate is only 0.4% lower than Modric's. In short, that means that one can argue that the Frenchman has been more efficient with ball during his time on the pitch. Alternatively, another could put forth the notion that it's in fact Modric who has been the more successful - not just because of his higher percentage pass completion rate, but his having attempted more passes due to having played more than his rival.

Whatever the case one wishes to make of this, however, one thing is certain: Should either player have a standout final, he certainly could make a good case to win the Golden Ball. Right now, Modric is looking perhaps like the more likely, having netted twice for Croatia during two grueling penalty shoot-outs, while France has yet to take part in extra-time.

Here are some numbers how they compare ahead of the upcoming final:

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