Arguably the greatest Croatian footballer ever, Modric is still competing at the highest level at the age of 36 for Spanish La Liga team Real Madrid. A former player at Dinamo Zagreb and Tottenham Hotspur FC, we take a look at some of the top quotes about Luka Modric.
Born in the war-torn former state of Yugoslavia, Modric has excelled as one of the best midfield players in history, winning a multitude of titles at Real, including three La Liga League and five UEFA Champions League titles.
Playing on the streets when young, Modric got his first break with local Croatian football club NK Zadar, in the town where he lived in a hotel. He moved onto the bigger domestic team, Dinamo Zagreb, where he spent five seasons winning the league three times and the cup competition twice.
He had a short spell with Spurs before moving to ‘Los Blancos’ and the Bernabeu in 2012, where he is still playing his football. Able to still compete into his mid-30s has been mainly put down to his fitness, training, and dedication.
Apart from his list of trophies, Modric has also been endowed with the best UEFA and FIFA men’s player of the year awards, the Croatian Footballer of the year a record ten times, and the prestigious Ballon d’Or honour in 2018.
As his country’s most capped football player, with 148 so far, his most prominent performance came in the 2018 World Cup as Croatia came runners-up for the first time in their history, and by being named the best player of the tournament, receiving the ‘Golden Ball’ honour.
“Luka was always stretching. That’s maybe why he’s supple and extremely flexible. You can tell from the way he moves with a football…..He was very professional and used to eat particularly well. He was always in the gym, doing little extras. That’s why you’re seeing the results.”
Darren Bent (former Tottenham Hotspur team-mate)
“…..in Luka Modric they have someone who gets better as they get older.”
Aleksander Ceferin (UEFA President)
“…..a hell of a player and a manager’s dream, so I am told. He trains like a demon and never complains, will work with and without the ball on the field and can beat a defender with a trick or with a pass. He could get into any team in the top four.”
Harry Redknapp (Spurs manager)
“He’s the head of midfield in a complicated environment. Every day in Madrid pressure is coming at you from all sides. Modrić not only withstands the pressure but has grown among it to be Madrid’s best player, with Ronaldo.”
Predrag Mijatovic (former Real Madrid player)
“Not only is he a very hard worker, he has a good brain and he provided some calmness and composure to the midfield. His passing was neat and his contribution was outstanding. He was not only winning the ball, he was passing well. We thought that he was very influential. He did not just work hard, he made the other people play well around him”.
Gerard Houllier (UEFA Technical Team)
“…..one of the best midfielders in the world right now, because he can play in more than one position”
Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid manager)
“…..is a player who makes others better, they all benefit from him being in the team. He’s not selfish, he’s playing for the team…..he’s a complete player; good in defence, good in offence – it looks like he was born with the ball at his feet.”
Slaven Bilic (former Croatia manager)
“He was unbelievable. Magnificent. He’s an amazing footballer, the little man takes the ball in the tightest areas with people around him, wriggling out of situations. He could play in any team in the world.”
“Luka shows us that it’s easy to play. Believe me it’s really really hard to play football…..he plays like it’s normal. It’s like a dance for him…..And now he’s this amazing player at a high level…..he’s a nice guy, always humble.”
Kaka (former Real Madrid player)
“…..I always preferred to have him on my team…..It’s difficult to stop him because he’s an amazing player…..when we become good friends I admire him even more – a great person, great player…..”
Mateo Kovacic (Croatian team-mate)
“…..he started to settle and everything changed. He got his first season out of the way and then he started to look the part. Soon we were watching him in games and in training and thinking ‘Wow, what a world class player!’ He could control games and do things with a ball nobody else could.”
Alan Hutton (former Spurs player)
“…..Luka Modric is the brain of their play…..”
Ondrej Celustka (Czech Republic defender)
“There’s no doubt that Modric is the best Croatian player in history…..The way he plays and the way he dominates for RM is impressive.”
Robert Prosinecki (former Croatian player)
“…..the first thing you noticed was his technique…..when you watched him up close, he was a player you knew straight away was levels above everyone…..He seemed to have three eyes because no matter what you did to try to get the ball off him, you just couldn’t get it…..at 36…..For him to be doing it is absolutely incredible.”
“He’s an amazing player and a great guy…..Low maintenance, never a problem. He just came in every day, trained great and fantastic to watch on the training ground.”
“…..Modric the most outstanding midfielder.”
Sporstke Novosti (Croatian daily sports newspaper)
“…..Modric played like a wizard and deserved all the plaudits.”
Vecernji List (Croatian daily newspaper)
“A little bit of everything, no doubt about it. Luka…..take such good care of themselves…..It is the training, the diet, the personal care…..”