Luka Modric Profile
|Born||Sep 09, 1985|
|Birthplace||Zadar, SR Croatia, Yugoslavia|
Four Champions League titles, three-time La Liga champion and a Ballon d’Or winner, Luka Modric has had an astonishing career and will certainly be seen as one of the game's all-time greats.
Luka Modric is a Croatian soccer player who plays as a midfielder for La Liga side Real Madrid, as well as captaining the Croatia national team.
He began his career at Dinamo Zagreb in his homeland before making a move to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in 2008.
Modric would then make an historic move to Spain, joining Real Madrid for a fee of £30million. The rest is history.
Youth and development
Modric took part in his local side NK Zadar's training camps at a young age, showing significant promise.
At the age of 16, in 2001 Modric made his first move to Dinamo Zagreb, however after a season with the youth side, he was loaned out to Zrinjski Mostar in the Bosnian Premier League.
At the age of 18, Modric was named the Bosnian Player of the Season, establishing his playing style and versatility in the process.
Although the Croatian did well in Bosnia, it was not enough to break into the Zagreb first team, and he was loaned out to Croatian side Inter Zapresic in 2004.
After another impressive campaign away from his contracted club, Modric earned himself the Croatian Football Hope of the Year award, booking him a place in the Blues' first team for the 2005/06 season.
Breakthrough and move to England
After two impressive campaigns away from the club, Modric signed a 10-year contract with Dinamo Zagreb. In his first season, the Croatian scored seven goals, helping his side win the league title.
The season after, Modric continued to influence his side by scoring six and assisting 10. He won the title once more, as well as winning the Prva HNL Player of the Year award.
In the 2007/08 season, Modric earned himself the captain's armband as Dinamo Zagreb attempted to qualify for the UEFA Cup. His side successfully qualified, but were knocked out in the group stages.
At the end of another glorious campaign, winning the title once more as well as the Croatian Cup, Modric would leave the Blues and transfer to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in 2008.
Modric made his debut in a 2-1 defeat to Middlesbrough, with the Croatian having a rather slow start in England. After suffering from a knee injury early on in his Spurs tenure, he was labelled as a 'lightweight' and too weak to play in the Premier League.
After former Spurs manager Juande Ramos departed from the club, Harry Redknapp took over at the Lilywhites with the aim of resurrecting Modric's poor form.
Redknapp recognised the importance of the Croatian, playing him in a more familiar central midfield role, and this enabled him to influence the team with his creativity and productivity.
Modric scored his first goal for Spurs in a 2-2 draw against Spartak Moscow on December 18, 2008, in a UEFA Cup group stage match.
Three days later, the Croatian scored his first Premier League goal during an away defeat to Newcastle United.
After an improved 2008/09 campaign, Modric was more than ready to kick on during the 2009/10 season.
Although the midfielder missed six weeks of football early on in the campaign due to a fibula fracture, the Croatian scored three and assisted seven, with Spurs finishing fourth in the Premier League. He also helped his side achieve Champions League football for the first time in 50 years.
In the 2010/11 campaign, Modric continued his impressive displays, playing in Spurs' first Champions League match-up against Inter Milan. Spurs shocked Europe, making it all the way to the quarter-finals before being knocked out by Real Madrid.
However, in the following season, Modric seemed to have his mind set on bigger ambitions away from North London. With high interest from Chelsea, Modric seemed to be on the move.
But after rejecting all of Chelsea's bids, Daniel Levy managed to keep hold of the Croatian for another season. Modric scored his final Spurs goal against Bolton Wanderers, rounding off a superb career in England.
Domination at Real Madrid
In August 2012, Modric's destiny was decided, transferring to Real Madrid for a fee of £30million. After just 36 hours of being at the club, the Croatian won his first piece of silverware in Spain when he replaced Mesut Ozil in the Supercopa de Espana as Real beat rivals Barcelona.
Due to Madrid's over-talented midfield, Modric would either come on as a substitute or play out of position in the early days.
At the end of 2012, Modric was voted the worst signing of the year. However, his long-range goal against Manchester United in the Champions League last-16 second leg was seen as a turning point for the Croatian.
Although the Spanish side were knocked out in the semi-finals by Borussia Dortmund, Modric began to display his range of passing and creativity in the midfield, ending the season with four goals and eight assists.
The end of the 2012/13 campaign shaped Modric's future at Real Madrid. With the arrival of new boss Carlo Ancelotti, the Croatian became a frequent starter, with his side winning the Copa del Rey in September, beating Barcelona 2-1.
Real Madrid and Modric reached the Champions League final in 2014. The midfielder provided the assist for a 93rd minute Sergio Ramos equaliser against Atletico Madrid, with Real going on to win their 10th Champions League title.
The Croatian was named in the UEFA Champions League Team of the Season and received the LFP award for the "Best Midfielder" in the Spanish top flight.
In the 2014/15 season, Modric and Real began brightly by winning the UEFA Super Cup. However, the midfielder was absent for the majority of the season due to a thigh injury, and this was seen as one of the main reasons behind Madrid's failure in the league and Champions League.
For the 2015/16 season, Ancelotti was replaced by Rafael Benitez, under whom Modric continued to perform admirably. However, it wouldn't take long until club legend Zinedine Zidane took over from the Spaniard in January.
The relationship was strong between manager and player, as Modric played another crucial role in Real Madrid's Champions League title win, beating rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties.
In 2016, Modric signed a new deal with the club, keeping him there until 2020. Later that season, Modric supplied the killer pass to Cristiano Ronaldo to score his second goal in the Champions League final, helping Real Madrid to retain the title by beating Juventus 4-1.
As well as the Champions League, Modric won his first La Liga title with Real Madrid, rounding off the season with one goal and five assists.
Ballon d'Or win
In the 2017/18 season, Luka Modric added the best personal achievement a footballer can add to his tally: the Ballon d'Or.
In this particular campaign, the midfielder grasped numerous amounts of silverware. At the beginning of the season, he won the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup with Real Madrid, as well as being included in the 2017 UEFA Team of the Year.
Modric also won his fourth Champions League title as Real beat English side Liverpool 3-1 in the final.
After another terrific season, scoring two and assisting eight, as well as his contributions in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Modric received the World Cup Golden Ball, the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award and The Best FIFA Men's Player award.
In December, he was awarded with the Ballon d'Or, marking the first time since 2007 that the award was not won by Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
Modric was the first player to win both the World Cup Golden Ball and the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award in the same year since Ronaldo in 1998, and the World Cup Golden Ball and the Best FIFA Men's Player of the Year Award after Romario in 1994.
In the 2018/19 season, Modric and Real Madrid crashed out of every competition, falling to Ajax in the Champions League, Atletico in the Super Cup, and Barcelona in both the Copa del Rey and La Liga.
However, in the following campaign, Modric and Real Madrid took back the La Liga title, as well as beating Atletico on penalties to win the Supercopa de Espana.
Modric played at numerous youth levels for Croatia, including the under-15, under-17, under-18, under-19 and under-21 teams. Modric made his full senior debut for Croatia in a 3-2 friendly win over Argentina in 2006.
He secured his place in Croatia's 2006 World Cup squad, making two appearances as a substitute against Japan and Australia.
Modric also scored Croatia's first goal in Euro 2008, the only goal in a 1-0 win over Austria. In Croatia's quarter-final against Turkey, Modric missed in the penalty shootout, with Turkey going on to win 3-1.
Modric and Croatia faced continued disappointment in the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship qualifiers, failing to qualify for both tournaments.
However, Croatia managed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where the side were knocked out at the group stage, losing twice and winning just once.
In Euro 2016, Croatia progressed beyond the group stages, however they were knocked out by Portugal in the round of 16.
The 2018 World Cup in Russia would turn out to be crucial for Modric's personal success. By beating Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland, as well as defeating Denmark, Russia and England, they progressed all the way to the final.
Although Croatia were beaten 4-2 by France in the showpiece game, Modric was awarded the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament and was included in the Team of the Tournament. His performances ultimately won him the 2018 Ballon d'Or too.
Modric was also included in the Croatian squad for the delayed Euro 2020 tournament. He was named Man of the Match in their 1-1 draw against the Czech Republic. He also scored one and provided an assist in their 3-1 group stage defeat of Scotland. In scoring against the Scots, Modric became the oldest player ever to score for Croatia at the European Championships, complementing him being the youngest player ever to score for his national side at the Euros too.
Modric married Vanja Bosnic in May 2010. The couple have a son, Ivano, and two daughters, Ema and Sofia.
Modric is a Roman Catholic and generally keeps a low profile, although he did release an autobiography in 2019. Australia striker Mark Viduka is his cousin.
Luka Modric's net worth is believed to be £57million.