Luka Modric is hopeful Zlatan Ibrahimovic keeps playing football and admits he could envision himself playing in MLS one day.
Ibrahimovic left Manchester United in March to sign on with the LA Galaxy, a decision which has paid immediate dividends for the big Swede and his new team.
He has already scored three goals in three games, two of which proved to be game-winners for the Galaxy, as Ibrahimovic has shrugged off fitness woes to make a fast start to life in MLS.
And Real Madrid’s Modric wants Ibrahimovic to keep his career going, in order to keep producing the “magic” that so many have enjoyed over the years.
“You know he was such a big player in Europe last 10-20 years,” Modric told SVT Sport. “One of the best strikers and it’s his decision. Hopefully he will enjoy [Los Angeles].
“I would like him to play football a bit longer, to watch him, to see his magic like he did past years and we’ll see. But I wish him all the best.”
Unfortunately for Modric, he admitted the time zone situation – the Galaxy play on the west coast of the United States which is nine hours behind Spain – may make it difficult for him to watch Ibrahimovic’s MLS exploits.
“It’s difficult [to watch the games],” Modric said. “Sometimes I watch the games when they are early in Europe.
“But you know, it would be very difficult because we have our schedule that is huge. A lot of things, training, and we have to sleep early.”
Following in Ibrahimovic’s footsteps to MLS is something Modric could see himself doing in the future when his contract with Real Madrid is finished. However, that would be more of a fallback option for the Croatia international, as his dream is to finish out his career with the capital club.
“You never know what can happen,” Modric said. “I still have two more years on my contract with Real Madrid.
“I’m happy. I always said that I would like to finish my career in Madrid if it’s possible. But if not, maybe I can see myself also [in America].”
But while he looks to the future, Modric also considered what could have been in the past.
Ibrahimovic was eligible to play international football for Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia before eventually choosing Sweden to represent on the international level.
A different choice would have seen Ibrahimovic and Modric as team-mates internationally, and Modric does admit he would have preferred the striker have picked Croatia instead.
“Of course, who wouldn’t like to have this kind of player?” Modric said. “Zlatan is one of the best players in modern generation and it is a shame that he didn’t pick Croatia.
“But you know, it is how it is, we have another great strikers in our team, but he would be amazing for us. That’s for sure.”
SVT Sport will have the full Modric interview on Sunday.