Thursday, 9 September 2021

Age-defying Luka Modrić Celebrates 36: Happy Birthday to Croatia's Best Footballer

September 9, 2021 - The age-defying Croatian football great Luka Modrić celebrates 36 years today. To honor the Croatia captain and Real Madrid star, we recount an unknown story about the 2018 Ballon d'Or winner. 

Although already in his finer years, Luka Modrić is still one of the core players of the biggest football clubs in the world, Real Madrid. But Luka's path to stardom was anything but easy, especially when recounting his early childhood days. 

Luka's war history has been retold many times because as a six-year-old boy, he had to leave his family home in Zaton Obrovački, where in front of that house, Chetniks killed his grandfather Luka, after whom he was named. 

For many years, Modrić lived with his family in refugee hotels in Zadar - he was in the Kolovare Hotel until 1997, and then he moved to the Iž Hotel. He would go to school and training and moved his focus solely to football, which eased the pain of life's everyday difficulties. 

The separation, time of war, and everything that accompanied Luka's early years in Zadar were anything but pleasant, but there were many people with big hearts who tried to make those days better.

Namely, Luka received help from a Scottish humanitarian association founded during the war in former Yugoslavia, and its founder Magnus MacFarlane-Farrow (53) admitted his run-in with now football great Luka Modrić on The Scottish Sun.

“Little did we know that among the crowds of kids there was one who would grow up to be a global superstar. But now we can celebrate an amazing moment in the Mary’s Meals story," said funder and CEO of Mary’s Meals, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow. 

“Today, two million children ate Mary’s Meals in a place of education. When we set out on this path nearly 30 years ago, we were overwhelmed by people’s goodness in donating – and that’s been the story ever since."

In the beginning, Magnus personally came to Medjugorje with his brother Fergus and delivered help for those in need. And in 2019, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Mary's Meals branch, he visited Croatia. 

"In 2019, my Julie and I travelled back to Croatia for the ten-year anniversary of Mary’s Meals support there.

We enjoyed an amazing evening of dancing and singing in Slavonski Brod, a town we had last visited nearly thirty years previously when it was being ripped apart by war and home to many thousands of refugees.

At the main event in the capital, Zagreb, the following evening, I received a very wonderful surprise when I finished making my short speech.

One of the volunteers climbed onto the stage and presented me with a parcel, which on opening turned out to be a Croatia football top.

I was happy enough with that, being a big fan of their amazing national team, which had reached the World Cup final the previous year, but only when I turned it over in my hands did I realize it was much better than that.

It was a signed gift from Luka Modrić, who was the holder of the Ballon d’Or - so recognised as the best footballer on the planet.

He and his family support Mary’s Meals partly because they were themselves refugees in the coastal town of Zadar when Julie and I used to deliver aid there.

Little did we know that among the crowds of kids there was one who would grow up to be a global superstar."

Luka Modric won the Golden Ball at the 2018 World Cup, where he also became a finalist with Croatia. He went on to win the Ballon d’Or and was named the men’s best player by FIFA and UEFA for the 2017/18 season. He also won the Golden Ball at the FIFA World Club Cup with Real Madrid, and helped the club win their third consecutive Champions League title. But that's only part of it, and there is no stopping him yet. 

Happy 36th Birthday, Luka!

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Monday, 31 December 2018

Luka Modrić to Face Madrid Court in Early 2019 for Tax Fraud

Captain of Croatia national team Luka Modrić could face a judge in Madrid at the beginning of 2019, who will decide on his settlement with the Spanish tax administration, reports HRT on December 30, 2018. 

Modrić, the 33-year-old Real Madrid midfielder and Ballon d’Or winner, has accepted a tax fraud charge of 870,728, euro and has agreed to pay 1.4 million euro for penalties and interest.

“We will solve the case of Cristiano Ronaldo first, and then there will be a hearing for Modrić, possibly early in the year. We still do not have the exact date,” court spokesperson Luis Salas said in a telephone conversation. Modrić will have to make a statement personally, as he lives here, Salas added.

Ronaldo, despite his initial claim to be innocent, has decided to settle with the tax administration and state attorney's office and pay 19 million euro in unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties. He is charged with having deliberately evaded taxes in Spain from 2011 2014 and owes 14.7 million in income tax from sponsorship contracts by opening up companies in foreign tax havens.

Ronaldo was declared the best footballer of the world in 2017. This year, the Ballon d’Or for the best in the world was given to Luka Modrić.

The Spanish State Attorney's Office charged Modrić and his wife Vanja in 2017 for tax fraud of 870,728 euro. They opened the company Ivano S.a.r.l in Luxembourg where Modrić received money from sponsorship contracts in 2013 and 2014.

The investigation began in 2016 when taxpayers noticed that their tax returns for these two years had no income derived from sponsorship contracts. He stated on the property card that he owned the company Ivano S.a.r.l., named after his son, with Vanja as the manager. 

Opening a company in Luxembourg for the management of Modrić's image is in accordance with the law, and he can receive financial gain through it if it is engaged in that activity. Activities include promotional events, commercials, videos, interviews, and so on, and a contract that allows Modrić to leave his rights to the company in exchange for financial compensation.

The tax police reviewed the company Ivano S.a.r.l. and found that the company did not deal with the management of Luka Modrić’s image, that he had no employees and equipment, and that he used the company as a footballer avoiding taxes in Spain. Investigators have concluded that in Luxembourg, which has low taxes, there is nothing but a registered company at the address. The account showed that he was paid money from Nike, and other sponsors and marketing contracts he had with Real Madrid. 

According to Modrić’s contract and his company Ivano S.a.r.l., that money would be withdrawn after completing his football career.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page. 

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Croatia Captain Luka Modrić Makes L'Equipe's Best Team of 2017

Luka Modrić has once again found himself among the best footballers in the world.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Press Conference with Luka Modrić: Details of His New Contract and His Relationship with Real Madrid

As TCN announced yesterday, Luka Modrić signed a new contract with Real Madrid which binds him to the Spanish club until 30 June, 2020. A press conference was held for the Croatian footballer this afternoon, giving the details to his contract and his relationship with Real Madrid.