Scotland turn to new pass master Gilmour to beat Modric at his own game


Dailynewsun Desk:

After a 23-year wait to even reach a major tournament, more history beckons for Scotland on Tuesday if they can beat Croatia at Hampden to reach the knockout stage for the first time at Euro 2020.

A hard-earned 0-0 draw against England at Wembley has restored belief in the Scottish support that had been shaken by a 2-0 defeat to the Czech Republic in their opening match.

Victory against the World Cup finalists should be enough to seal Scotland’s place in the last 16 as one of the four best third-placed sides from the six groups, should they not pip England into second place in Group D.

Steve Clarke’s decision to throw Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour in for his first international start on the biggest stage proved inspired as the 20-year-old outshone the Three Lions’ plethora of Premier League stars to walk away with the man-of-the-match award.

At just 5ft 7in (1.7m), Gilmour has had to use his speed of thought and fleetness of foot to become a rising star for club and country.

“Scotland have found a playmaker to build around for the next decade,” former Scotland captain Graeme Souness wrote in The Times. “A proper footballer who can keep the ball in tight areas and does not give it away.”

That description fits perfectly with Croatia’s own pass master Luka Modric.

Now, 35, the Real Madrid midfielder still carries his country’s expectations on his shoulders.

His starring role in Croatia’s run to the World Cup final three years ago saw Modric become the only man since 2007 to break Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s grip on the Ballon d’Or.