World Cup 2018: "The war made me stronger" - unknown story of Luka Modric

Croatia v England : Semi Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup
Luka Modric

Croatia, which was formed in 1991, was included in the World Cup in 1998 after seven years. Even as a new entrant to the 1998 World Cup, they reached the semi-finals and finished with the third position.

And now they are getting their boots ready for their first World Cup final. Croatia is captained by Real Madrid's midfielder, Luka Modric, who has earned his reputation as one of the best midfielders in present day football.

Luka, the midfield maestro had his share of horrific experiences during his childhood. In December 1991, when Luka was six years old, the Balkan war happened. The Serbian army had been making brutal attacks on the villages of Croatia

During this time, his family had to fight the odds to survive the cruelty. The six-year-old was shocked when his grandfather was shot dead in front of his eyes. His mum was a textile worker and his father was once a mechanic, who repaired cars for Croatian soldiers. When the Serbian crusade continued, Luka’s family moved to a refugee camp.

In many interviews, Luka spoke about the sound of bombs and bullets he experienced in his childhood. He adds that his sister and him used to carefully look for mines while walking in the streets.

"The war made me stronger. I could not imagine my family suffering with me for a long time," he said.

Ronaldo Luis, the Brazilian legend, has been the most inspiring one for Luka. He was constantly judged for his small physique. He was considered as week and shy, with the physique that didn't befit a footballer. But Luka believes that he always had something special in his legs.

In 2008, Luka joined Premier League club Tottenham, where he led them to Champions League appearance and they also reached the quarter-finals in 2010-11 tournament. After Tottenham, he moved to the prestigious Real Madrid and the rest is history.

Luka, the wonder boy is one of the best diminutive midfielders with his quick and creative play-making. He holds with him a great vision of carrying the dreams of 4.2 million Croatian people in the finale of 2018 FIFA World Cup against France.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee