19 facts you did not know about Luka Modric
#4 It’s all about the two F’s – Football and Family
He may ply his trade for one of the biggest outfits in world football, but Modric certainly hasn’t forgotten his humble beginnings. “I only ever try to do the best I can on the football pitch. I’m not a model or something. I am a football player,” these the words of a player who’s got his feet rooted to the ground.
The only thing which surpasses football in Luka’s mind is his family.
He has two children, Ivano and Ema, and married Vanja Bosnic in Zagreb in 2010 following four years of dating. He’s not detached from his family. “Not a day goes by when I don’t speak to my parents and my two sisters back home and I only ever try to do the best I can on the football pitch.”
#5 Great Pals with Corluka
It’s a testament to their friendship that Vedran Corluka was Modric’s best man at his aforementioned marriage to Bosnic seven years ago. The pair played with each other at White Hart Lane from 2008 to 2012, whilst also sharing the dressing room for the Croatian national side.
The two of them have spent years in each other’s company in the game over the years and Corluka is full of praise for his Croatian counterpart, claiming last year “he’s one of the best midfielders in Europe. He’s playing in Real Madrid as their second player or third player with Bale and Ronaldo.”
#6 Anchor, Middle-Man or Number Ten
Everyone can recognise that Modric is a stellar talent but fewer may know the depth of his abilities and the versatility he withholds. Gerard Houllier once claimed, “not only is he a very hard worker, he has a good brain and provides some calmness and composure to the midfield.”
These are the traits which rendered Modric capable of playing in a holding role earlier in his career with the likes of Dinamo Zagreb and more recently at Real Madrid.
Houllier continued, “He was not only winning the ball, he was passing well. We thought he was very influential.” The Frenchman is here outlining that Modric is too capable in a playmaker role and this was the position where he was most influential whilst at Tottenham.
#7 He had a strong relationship with coach Tomislav Basic
The pair’s relationship isn’t limited to the football field; Basic and Modric share the unfortunate link of having both experienced the horrific events in Zadar during the Croatian War. They first came together during Modric’s early playing days with local side NK Zadar.
It was from here that Basic developed the reputation of a second father figure to Modric, providing support when he was initially rejected by Hadjuk Split.
Later Basic helped secure Modric’s move to Dinamo Zagreb when he was just 15-years-old and as the diminutive midfielder signed a ten-year contract with the club. Basic sadly passed away in February 2014 but Modric paid homage to his former coach following Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League triumph in Lisbon that same year.
"I hugged my son Ivano next to the Champions League trophy and thought about the happiness I'm living – the happiness that was conceived in Zadar."