Luka Modric has issued an apology to Slovenia - yes, the entire nation - after he was filmed launching a foul-mouthed tirade at referee Dakir Skomina during Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Manchester City in the Champions League semi-final second leg last week.
The Croatia international, who has attracted very little controversy during his career and conducts himself with the utmost professionalism both on and off the pitch, sprang off the bench following a challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo and swore at Skomina.
The cameras caught Modric red-handed. “I’m going to f**k your mother,” the world-class midfielder shouted at the match official, according to Spanish newspaper AS.
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This was completely out of character by Modric who, in his apology to the referee and Slovenia, admitted his reaction was “vulgar”.
“First of all, I apologise to the referee Damir Skomina,” the 30-year-old said. “And I also apologise to everyone, especially in Slovenia, who might have been offended by my vulgar reaction.”
Video: Luka Modric swears at referee
It just goes to show what football can do to even the most mild-mannered footballers.
Emotions were running high at the time in fairness to Modric, who was substituted in the 88th minute.
Real Madrid were moments away from securing their place in the Champions League final but City would have progressed had they netted a late away goal.
Los Blancos held on, though, and will take on local rivals Atletico Madrid at the San Siro on May 28.
By issuing an apology, Modric has done all he can to avoid a retrospective ban.
Modric should be back for Deportivo match
The former Tottenham star was left out of Real Madrid’s squad for their must-win La Liga match against Valencia on Sunday by Zinedine Zidane for precautionary reasons.
However, he is expected to return for Real Madrid’s final league match of the season against Deportivo next Saturday.
Zidane’s men kept themselves in contention for La Liga with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Valencia at the weekend.
Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and another from Karim Benzema ensured the title race will go to the final day of the season.
However, Barcelona are the overwhelming favourites to win the league - and they will do just that if they beat Granada, who have dragged themselves away from the relegation mire thanks to back-to-back victories over Las Palmas and Sevilla.
Do Real Madrid stand any chance of winning La Liga next weekend? Have your say by leaving a comment below.