Croatian midfielder Luka Modric marked his 134th appearance for the national team while playing in a Fifa World Cup qualifier match against Slovenia yesterday. The Real Madrid midfielder equaled the record held by another Croatian legend Darijo Srna for most international appearances for Croatia.
Modric is currently off to his National team duties for the Fifa world cup qualifiers. So, there’s every chance for him to become the most capped player in the Croatian national team.
Modric marked his debut for Croatia on 1 March 2006 and played a crucial role in his team’s 1-0 win against Argentina in Basel, Switzerland. Further, he turned out to be a breaking star for Dynamo Zagreb. Modric’s first International goal came during a friendly match against Italy in 2006.
Currently, the Real Madrid star got three European Championships and three World Cups under his name. Besides, he led his team to the final of World Cup 2018 and received the ‘player of the tournament’ award for his impeccable performance.
Modric’s career journey certainly comes as a big inspiration to all aspiring footballers across the globe. Despite going through some big deprivations during the early stages of his life, this Croatian star has made it to the top of the football world.
The Evolution of Luka Modric: From being a Croatian refugee to Fifa’s best player
The road to success didn’t come easy for this Croatian star midfielder. He was forced to leave his Yugoslavian home with his family at the age of six amidst the Croatian civil war in the early 90s. Hence, Modric and his family lived in a refugee camp for most of his early childhood.
Despite going through all the hardships at an early age, Luka never gave up on his passion for football. He continued chasing his love for the sport while playing with the local kids in the refugee camp.
Things didn’t come easy for Luka during the initial phases of his football journey. Several clubs denied him because of his skinny frame and height. However, given his exceptional talent, Modric finally grabbed a spot at a top-tier Croatian football club named NK Zadar.
Modric met Tomislav Basic, his first coach at NK Zadar. Conversely, Basic is the same man whom Luka considers his ‘sporting father’. He helped Modric secure a move to another Croatian club, Dinamo Zagreb in late 2001, which came as a career-defining moment for the Croatian.
After finishing up a one-year spell with the club’s youth fold, Luka then got loaned to Bosnia and Herzegovina club, Zrinjski Mostar. Eventually, he went on to win the 2003/04 player of the Year award within the same league.
Riding high on his astounding performances, Modric then found his new home at English Club Tottenham on a six-year deal in 2008. Despite being overlooked initially due to his skinny frame, Modric finally got the opportunity to prove his mettle under the Tottenham coach, Harry Redknapp.
Given some highly notable performances with spurs, the Croatian finally gets to join his dream club Real Madrid in August 2011 for a £30m transfer fee. The star midfielder is on a roll ever since, with several accolades tucked under his belt. After being rewarded with FIFA’s The Best award and UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year 2017/18, the Croatian also secured the Ballon d’Or in 2018.
The achievement appeared quite historical as he ended the decade-old monopoly by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on this award. As Modric reached a new milestone with the Croatian football team, we can certainly expect some more achievements from this 35-year-old star midfielder in the coming years.
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