A dream midnight phone call

Luka Sucic and his debut for the Croatian national team

Luka Sucic's past week is a tough one to beat! What began with a dazzling performance for Croatia U21s on Friday led to an unexpected debut for the full national team on Monday alongside childhood icon and former Ballon D'or winner Luka Modric.

Our young midfielder played his way into the limelight with an U21 European qualifier against Norway. His early goal and assist paved the way for a 3-2 win for the young Croats. The evening would get even better though with an unexpected twist:

I got a call around midnight from sporting director Stipe Pletikosa, and it was a huge surprise. He congratulated me on the win and the great performance. Then he said that the coach, Zlatko Dalic, really wanted me in the full national team. I could barely take it all in - I was thrilled as it is something I have always dreamed of! I called my family right away, of course, to tell them.

The next morning he then had to pack his bags and travel to link up with the senior squad. That he made his debut soon afterwards made it even more of a dream. The famous names welcomed our 19-year-old to the team to ensure a perfect start:

I was given a really warm welcome by the team, and I was just so proud to be a part of it.

The big moment then came on Monday. Two days after his late call-up, Luka made his debut for the Croatian national team. During the World Cup qualifier v Slovakia, his number went up on the board in 85th minute for him to be substituted on. The youngster could not prevent it ending in a 2-2 draw, but Luka still had five minutes of sheer enjoyment:

I always dreamed of it as a small boy - playing together with Luka Modric in the national team. The dream became a reality yesterday, and I cannot put into words just how it felt. Only the result was a disappointment, but my first match will still always remain one I remember.