The Blues attacking midfielder has grown up watching the Croatian superstar’s game and will now face him for the third time this season
Mason Mount will face Luka Modric once again in England’s opening Euro 2020 match against Croatia and the Chelsea midfielder is looking forward to taking on one of his biggest idols.
Being small in stature as a youngster in Chelsea’s academy, Mount looked up towards the likes of Modric and former Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta while taking his own path to the top of world football.
Now an established player at Chelsea, Mount was key to his side’s win against Real Madrid over two legs in the Champions League, as the Blues, would go on to win the competition against Manchester City in the final, but as well as his medal, Modric’s shirt also served as an important momento earned from the run in Europe.
What he said?
“I’ve got it at home along with a couple of others. It’s always good to keep those special shirts,” Mount told reporters from St. George’s Park.
“I spoke to Kovacic before the first game and asked if I could get his shirt at a later date. I managed to do that and he asked for mine in the second game because I didn’t actually give him mine in the first.
“Kova said he likes to swap with players so he came up and said he wanted mine, just said good luck in the upcoming games. It was brilliant for me obviously to speak to him and he wants my shirt so I was quite overwhelmed.
“He has always been a player that I have looked up to. Ever since he has been in the Premier League with Tottenham, I have watched him quite closely. Playing against him, it was weird because I had watched him so much, I kind of knew his moves and what he was going to do.
“It helps being a fan of a player and then playing against him because you know what he likes to do. The experience of playing against him helps because you want to be in these big games and learn how to handle the pressure and big moments.
“Them two games [against Real Madrid] were massive in our run and I gained a lot of experience from the two games.”
How will England use Mount?
Gareth Southgate will likely lean heavily on the 22-year-old midfielder throughout this upcoming tournament having played him in almost every match over the last 12 months.
Mount has played in central midfield and as a forward for England and he will likely adapt his roles to the different opponents who the Three Lions face.
Indeed, he is comfortable playing in different roles, having come through Chelsea’s academy who like to produce versatile footballers.
“I think if you look at the amount of talent going forward we have in the group it kind of speaks for itself,” he added. “We’ve got players that can handle the ball, keep the ball and play possession football, create chances and be a threat going forward.
“That is something we’re obviously always trying to work on to perfect. It’s never going to be 100 percent perfection, you know that in a game there’s going to be times when things don’t click at times but with the players we have and what we’ve been working on in training, I have full hope that it’s going to work.
“We’re going to play together and it’s going to connect when the game comes around, so that’s what we’re focused on and hopefully that happens.”
He went onto say that his side can win glory this summer.
“We’ve never won a Euros before so, for us, we’re a team that’s very hungry to want to do that,” he concluded.
“We want to create history that no one has ever done before and I feel like with this group, with this young group, we can do that and we know what we can do.”