What is Luka Modric's job

Croatia's World Cup star Luka Modric: The horror in the backyard is suppressed


Luka Modric is anything but a giant and yet the greatest player in his country. Not just anyone says that, the praise comes from a qualified mouth, from someone who once deserved this honor. "Luka is the best in the history of Croatian football," said Robert Prosinecki, a former star in the midfield of Red Star Belgrade, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

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The greats of Croatia's golden generation have long been bowing to little Modric (32). Not just since the midfield director made his country into the World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday in Moscow against England (8 p.m. in LIVE TICKER) has led. But the tournament in Russia could become Modric's masterpiece and finally give his name a global reputation.

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Luka Modric outshone by Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. at Real Madrid

In Madrid he is often in the shadow, completely undeserved, but world footballer Cristiano Ronaldo or even still world champion Toni Kroos outshine the 1.72 meter tall Modric. But it is he who gallops through midfield with flowing hair and travels the gaps that allowed Real to win three Champions League titles in a row. His nickname: el pony.

To understand why the pony outperforms all the big and strong, it is worth taking a look at Modric's past. Growing up in Zadar, he experienced the civil war on his own doorstep for years. His grandfather was murdered by Serbian militants and his parents' house was burned down. The family found refuge in a shabby hotel. Little Luka, not even ten years old, pushed the horror in the backyard away with a ball on his foot.

Modric: A Bosnian steel bath and alleged false statements

Modric learned assertiveness and fearlessness as a teenager, on loan from Dinamo Zagreb to Zrinjski Mostar in the steel bath of the Bosnian league. He worked his way back to Zagreb via Inter Zapresic and then to Tottenham Hotspur in London in 2008 - a move that Modric has caught up with again today. Modric is said to have made false statements in the trial against the Croatian football sponsor Zdravko Mamic.

There are different reports in Croatia about whether he is really threatened with imprisonment for perjury because he concealed the truth of who had squeezed what from the 21 million euro transfer fee. One thing is certain: Modric lost a lot of sympathy in his home country through his strange appearances in court. On the facade of his childhood hotel was smeared: "Luka, you will still remember this day".

When the topic reached Russia, Modric reacted angrily and from then on only let his art speak for itself. But it was so extraordinary that the headlines back home changed again. Thanks to Modric, "England will fall. We'll be world champions," wrote the daily Slobodna Dalmacija.

Modric "the best Croatian player of all time"

Modric's teammates are also convinced that they can go at least one step further with their leader than the 1998 team, which finished third in France with Prosinecki, Davor Suker and all the other heroes. "Luka is not only our best player and captain, for me he is also the best Croatian player of all time," said Ivan Rakitic, star in midfield at FC Barcelona.

There must be something to this assessment. With or without a World Cup title: Luka Modric made Croatian football history a long time ago.

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