Saturday, 9 October 2021

Luka Modrić Receives Nomination for Ballon D'Or Award

October 9, 2021 - Luka Modrić receives nomination for the most prestigious football award, and the captain of the Croatian national team and Real Madrid star is once again on the list of footballers nominated for France Football's Ballon d'Or for the 2021 season.

After a decade filled with unforgettable memories, individual awards, championships, impressive goals, and more, the veteran Croatian national team captain and undisputed midfield starter for Real Madrid continues to garner accolades to this day. Yesterday, France Football magazine published a list of candidates for the prestigious Ballon d'Or for the 2021 season, and the Croatian legend again appears along with 29 other elite footballers, as Luka Modrić receives nomination after winning it in 2018.

In the 2020-21 season, the second affected by the pandemic, Luka Modrić reached second place in La Liga with Real Madrid and the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, where they lost to Chelsea. Despite the result, Modrić was included in the ideal eleven of the top European club tournament. With his club, Luka had 48 appearances and 6 goals that season. With the Croatian national team, Luka Modrić captained the team again at EURO 2020, where he scored a magnificent goal in Croatia's last group stage match against Scotland. Unfortunately, the team only made it to the round of 16, where they lost 3-5 against Spain after extra time, in a frenzied match that they heroically tied in the last stages.


France Football announced yesterday the 30 candidates for the Ballon d'Or, and Luka Modric appears again among them. (France Football/Twitter)

But Luka's level goes beyond the numbers and the results. Despite the fact that in recent years many players of the age of the Croatian footballer have retired from football or left Europe to play in less competitive leagues, Modrić continues to be a fundamental piece in the schemes of both Zlatko Dalić in the national team, as well as for Carlo Ancelotti in Real Madrid, a club of which Luka has been a part since 2012. At Real Madrid, for example, several younger players have tried to take over from the Croatian midfielder in recent years. However, players like Dani Ceballos, Marcos Llorente, Federico Valverde, Isco, or Eduardo Camavinga, have been unable to start before the Croatian, and have had to choose to be substituted or be transferred to other clubs.

Luka Modrić receives nomination and is once again a candidate for the Ballon d'Or, which was awarded to him with a wide advantage in 2018 after his spectacular season with Real Madrid, winning the Champions League for the fourth time, and after a historic feat at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he led the Croatian national team to the final. This year, Luka justifies his nomination due to his consistent performance and enormous mental, physical, and football abilities at 36, extending a fruitful and remarkable career far beyond.

Today, Luka is defending first place in La Liga and second in his group in the Champions League. While with the Croatian national team, the captain is currently playing the qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup, where he was part of the team that beat Cyprus 3-0 yesterday in Larnaca.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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Saturday, 8 December 2018

Luka Modrić to Receive Big Nike Bonus After Winning Ballon d'Or

In addition to winning the most prestigious prize in football, Luka Modrić will receive a bonus from the world’s biggest sports brand.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

France Football Reveals Modrić Like Never Before in Tell All Interview

Immediately after winning the Ballon d’Or in Paris, Luka Modrić sat down with France Football for a tell-all interview, reports on December 6, 2018.

The first thing the Croatia captain and Real Madrid midfielder spoke about was the legendary former captain of the Croatia national team - Zvonimir Boban.

"I was playing for Tottenham and was going through a difficult time. Suddenly I received a message: 'Call me if you want. Zvone.” I thought that some of my friends were teasing me, but when I called the number, it was Boban. That conversation psychologically refreshed me, he was a man that I admired, and I was impressed by his past as a player and his simplicity,” Modrić said.

France Football was interested in Modrić’s past, from his adventures at Zrinjski to what happened with Hajduk. Recall, the Split club rejected him, which struck a chord with the footballer. 

"When I started my professional career, I did not know I would reach such a level, even though I dreamed about playing for big clubs. Hajduk did not want me for various reasons, and even when Wenger did not want me, I saw it as just another obstacle I needed to overcome, the desire to show them that they have made a mistake."

But in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was another story.

"I won my first award 15 years ago. When I was on loan to Zrinjski, the fans declared me the best team player by my team behavior and contributions. The BiH league is very demanding physically, and it is difficult for an 18-year-old player to develop; the referees did not protect me. After that season, I did not fear anything,” Luka said, before adding:

“I wanted to play like Boban, be the leader on the field, the key in the midfield, which connects the defense and the attack. Like a quarterback in American football. Others thought my height was a handicap; I did not. My experiences from Bosnia and Herzegovina helped me greatly. I did not feel physically inferior, and I'm stronger than many think... just ask my rivals. I am not afraid of the height of my rivals."

Modrić then switched to topics outside football.

"In basketball, I would certainly be successful, regardless of my height, I would be a good playmaker. I was born in the town of basketball, in Zadar, and I often play at Real's camp where we have a basketball court. And of course, I always win against my teammates! I am the best after Dražen Petrović, haha. The best of all time is Michael Jordan, and I keep one of his quotes stored in my mobile phone so that I can see it every day: 'Every time you fall, get up again.' Jordan never feared failure."

Luka also follows other sports, and especially his fellow countrymen.

"I love the New England Patriots and I love Tom Brady. They even have a Croatian there, as coach Bill Belichick has Croatian roots. The only problem is that they play at night, so I can’t watch them often. From other sports, I like everything where Croatians are successful: I'm a big fan of Marin Čilić, like Goran Ivanišević before, and I play tennis every time I get there."

What does a day in the life of Luka entail?

"I have a profile on Instagram, but I only publish football photos. I get up early and drive my kids in school, I go to lunch at Real Madrid’s center, then I go back to get the kids, and we play at home. I watch movies with my wife in our home theater... I have and a wine cellar with wines from Croatia, Italy, Spain, and France."

To read the full France Football interview, click here

To read more about Luka Modrić, follow TCN’s dedicated page here

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Luka Modrić Reveals Zidane First to Believe He Could Win Ballon d'Or

As we all know by now, Luka Modrić won the Ballon d'Or by France Football on Monday, known as the most prestigious individual football award - the winner is considered the best football player in the world, reports on December 4, 2018. 

It has long been known that Modrić would win the award and that the ceremony in Paris was merely a formality for Modrić to raise the Ballon d'Or trophy finally. 

As expected, Modrić interviewed with France Football after he received the award, revealing the one person who opened his eyes and said he could certainly be a player who could one day win the Ballon d’Or. 

It was the none other than a legendary Frenchman who took over Real Madrid in January 2016 after Rafa Benitez was dismissed from the bench; a legendary Frenchman who came on to lead the royal club as a "temporary solution." In the next two and a half years, with Modrić on the pitch, Real went on to win three European and one Spanish title, and as a result of this trophy harvest, Modrić went on to win the Ballon d’Or. 

But to do so, someone had to convince Modrić that he was the chosen one. 

"I will never forget that moment; it was January 2016. Zinedine Zidane was just named coach and immediately invited me to his office after training. He explained what kind of player he considered me and what he expected of me. He pointed out that I was crucial in his plans and above all, that he considered me a player who could win the Ballon d’Or.” 

Of course, Modrić was deeply impressed by the words of such a great man: "When someone, like Zidane, with his personality and history, says something like this, your self-confidence goes to uninhabited heights."

Modrić said that his new coach had long been a player and human model: "I am so fond of him as a player, and as I developed as a football player, I saw him as a role model, not just a player because, like him, I'm calm and shy."

Zidane knew it all and asked Modrić to “express himself on the pitch", to be as open as possible and to have authority. 

"I became the key player for Real at the crucial moment of my career. Zidane’s words helped me to develop my game to the fullest," said Luka. 

Modrić admits, however, that Zidane's words were tough to believe.

"I must honestly say that even though he told me that I was a future winner of the Ballon d'Or, I did not dare to believe it."

To learn about Luka Modrić, follow TCN's dedicated page here

Monday, 3 December 2018

The Year of Luka: Modrić Wins France Football's Ballon d’Or!

December 3, 2018 - Luka Modrić has become the first Croatian to win the most prestigious award in football - the Ballon d’Or

Friday, 23 November 2018

Luka Modrić Named Best Sportsman at GQ's 'Men of the Year' Awards in Madrid

“He really is the man of the year, and I think that he will win the Golden Ball. I do not see another player that can approach Luka. Many hope for the award, but the Golden Ball has only one name: Luka Modrić,” said Predrag Mijatović.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Will Luka Modrić Be First Croatian to Win Ballon d'Or?

Will Luka Modrić become the first Croatian to win the Ballon d'Or? Can he be the player to interrupt the decade-long domination of Messi and Ronaldo?

Monday, 8 October 2018

Modrić, Rakitić, and Mandžukić Nominated for Ballon d'Or!

An incredible recognition for Croatian football as three World Cup stars make the shortlist of nominees for the Ballon d'Or. 

Friday, 8 January 2016

Croatian 2Cellos to Play for Messi and Ronaldo at Ballon d'Or Awards

2Cellos and Leona Lewis main stars of this year's football gala