Mason Mount on Luka Modric: It helps to be a fan of a player

Mount, who played against Modric's Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals, will face him again in the Euros opener.

Mason Mount in training with the England team; Credit: [email protected]

Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount has revealed that he is a huge fan of Real Madrid star Luka Modric and has followed him closely since his time at Tottenham Hotspur. The 22-year-old has already faced the Croatian twice in the recently concluded Champions League season, when Chelsea played Real Madrid in a two-leg semifinal tie. Mount will face Modric yet again in England’s opening match against Croatia at Euro 2020. The 22-year-old has now divulged a small story on how he took the help of Mateo Kovacic to get Modric’s jersey.

“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.”

Mount believes that being a fan of a player helps when the two meet on the football field. “It helps being a fan of a player and then playing against him because you know what he likes to do,” he added. “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.”

Vital cog

Mount has established himself as an important player for Chelsea over the last season. Initially, it was not clear whether he would get regular game time when the Blues signed Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz last summer. Unfazed by the competition for places, the Englishman continued to perform at a high level, becoming a vital cog in Chelsea’s side.

His impressive domestic performances helped him gain regular match time under Gareth Southgate for the national team. However, with tough competition for places in the English team, it will be interesting to see if Mount can continue to be an important player for the Three Lions in Euros.

“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.”

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