19 facts you did not know about Luka Modric
Top-level footballers may lead a celebrity lifestyle, with every nook and cranny of their daily lives exposed to the public, but certain aspects of their careers nonetheless remain concealed beneath the bumper wages and eye-catching boot designs. From the detail behind their humble beginnings to their taste in music or art, footballers still embed humanity and personality that we sometimes fail to acknowledge.
Luka Modric has had an especially intriguing life so far which has led to the 31-year-old now living his dream by playing at the heart of the Real Madrid midfield. The Croatian is a renowned name in his home nation and few players embody the rags-to-riches tale more than the former-Tottenham man. In homage to Modric’s shirt number for Real Madrid, here are 19 facts you did not know about the Croatian international…
#1 He was born in the village of ‘Modrici’
Plural for ‘Modric’, this is indeed the village where one of Croatia’s finest talents grew up and first put on a pair of boots. The house where Modric lived as a child lays along a stretch of narrow, winding road leading up to the Velebit mountain range.
The area which is isolated and secluded is embedded in dark history. Just over twenty years ago, the area was renowned for some vulgar war crimes and it’s thought that landmines can still be found there today.
#2 He was caught up in the ‘Croatian War of Independence’
Obviously, Modric was far too young to ever actually play a role in the conflict, but he has horrifying memories of the war nonetheless. In 1991, when Modric was just six-years-old, the area in which he was born was captured by local Croatian Serb rebels and his grandfather was murdered by them in cold blood when attending to the cattle.
It was a horrific experience for a child to be subjected to and the Modric family had to consequently flee the area and stay as refugees in a large hotel in Zadar. It was experiences like these which gave the former Spurs man the confidence and steel mentality he needed to flourish at the pinnacle of football later in life.
#3 Carlo was his favourite
During his tenure at the Santiago Bernabeu, Modric has worked under the stewardship of four different managers; Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafael Benitez and, currently, Zinedine Zidane. Despite recently praising the Frenchman for his work at the club, the Croatian admitted in an interview with the BBC last year that Ancelotti remains the best manager he has played under.
“We had a great relationship, we still have a good one; that's why I would pick him,” claimed Modric when outlining that the Italian was his favourite of the four. Together, the pair won the UEFA Champions League and Copa Del Rey with Real Madrid before Ancelotti was dismissed in 2015.