Few have graced the beautiful game with their talent like the Croatian midfield maestro. Luka Modrić is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for La Liga club Real Madrid and captains the Croatia national team.
He plays mainly as a central midfielder but can also play as an attacking midfielder or as a defensive midfielder.
Born in Zadar, Modrić’s childhood coincided with the Croatian War of Independence which displaced his family. In 2002, he was signed by Dinamo Zagreb at age 16, after showing promise with his hometown club NK Zadar’s youth team.
He continued his development in Zagreb, before spells on loan to Zrinjski Mostar and Inter Zaprešić. He made his debut for Dinamo in 2005 and won three consecutive league titles and domestic cups. Modric received the the Prva HNL Player of the Year in 2007.
In 2008, he moved to Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur for a club-record transfer fee of £16.5 million, where he led Spurs to their first UEFA Champions League appearance in almost 50 years, reaching the quarter-finals of the 2010–11 tournament.
In the summer of 2012, Modrić joined Real Madrid for a £30 million transfer fee. There he became a key contributor and helped the team win La Décima and was selected for the 2013–14 Champions League squad of the season.
After Zinedine Zidane took over Madrid, Modrić was critical to three consecutive Champions League titles from 2015–16 to 2017–18, was voted into the squad of the season each time.
Team and Individual Honors
He has won twenty major trophies at Real Madrid, including five UEFA Champions League titles, three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and four FIFA Club World Cup titles.
He won the La Liga Award for “Best Midfielder” in 2016 for the second time. The Croatian also bagged the UEFA Club Football Award for “Best Midfielder” in 2017 and 2018.
2018 saw Modrić become the first Croatian player to win the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award. By winning The Best FIFA Men’s Player and Balon d’Or awards, he became the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the awards in more than a decade.
The following year, he was awarded the Golden Foot award for career results and personality.
Modrić made his international debut for Croatia against Argentina in March 2006. He scored his first international goal in a friendly match against Italy.
Modrić has anchored Croatia’s “second Golden Generation”, participating in every major tournament Croatia has qualified for. He has featured in the UEFA European Championship in 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, as well as the FIFA World Cup in 2006, 2014, and 2018.
He made the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2008, becoming the second Croatian to achieve this honor. Following group stage eliminations in his first two World Cups, Modrić led Croatia to the 2018 World Cup Final. He received the Golden Ball award for best player of the tournament.