JORDAN JAMES hailed getting the better of Luka Modric as the best night of his life.
The young Wales midfielder has been on cloud nine since last month’s stand-out display against the 170-cap Croatia captain in the shock 2-1 Euro 2024 qualifying win.
There are 19 years and 164 international caps between James and Real Madrid superstar Modric.
When asked about getting the upper hand over the 38-year-old and Manchester City’s Mateo Kovacic in midfield, James replied: “I don’t think it gets much better than that.
“It was the best night of my life. It was a massive win for the country as well as seeing how proud my family were in the crowd.
“It’s difficult coming back down to earth from the biggest game of my life. But my mindset is exactly the same as it was before that game. Nothing’s changed.
“Whether that’s against Modric or anyone else, I’m still going to play exactly the same and hopefully I can do that in the next two games.
“We’ll look back on that Croatia game and take confidence into the next two. Confidence is really high but we can’t take anyone lightly.
“We still have a job to do. We know what it means to the country to get to these big tournaments, so that’s our focus and hopefully we can do that.”
Birmingham ace James, 19, knows he must back up his impressive Cardiff performance in Armenia on Saturday.
Wales will qualify for the finals in Germany next summer if they pick up two Group D wins, starting in Yerevan before hosting Turkey on Tuesday
James said of June’s 4-2 home thrashing by Armenia: “There is a bit of revenge there. You don’t like losing. It’s not nice and we want to get them back.”.
James, who still lives at his family home in Hereford, admits Wales boss Robert Page picked him following Joe Allen’s retirement after last year’s World Cup.
The six-cap midfielder is set to start again on Saturday and plans to repay Page by helping the Dragons move one win away from securing a fourth major tournament spot in five attempts.
James added: “The last few months have been brilliant. All I’ve ever wanted to do is to play for my country. to be able to put that shirt on again and again is something I’ve always wanted to do.
“I didn’t expect to play in these big games but you have to deal with it and I think I’ve done quite well.
“That’s massive trust from the gaffer at such a young age. Playing for your country, there is a risk but he took it and I’m just trying to repay him for what he’s done for me.
“There is a shortage in my position. I knew that. What Joe Allen has done for the country has been amazing.
“For him to retire has left a space for someone to take. I wanted to be that guy. The last three games I feel I’ve been able to do that. If I can do the same thing over and over again then happy days.”