Luka Modric, popularly known by his nickname ‘Cruyff of the Balkan’ is a Croatian professional football player. He plays as a central midfielder for Real Madrid (Spanish Club) and the Croatia National Team where he also captains. The Croatian National team had an incredible outing in the Russia 2018 World Cup Tournament over the Summer. The Kockasti entered the tournament as one of the many insignificant contenders, but after thrashing La Albiceleste 3-0, football fans couldn’t help but notice the Croatian National team as they aggressively continued to the Final, losing to the French side. The man who led the team on their spectacular performance is our subject of focus in our special Luka Modric biography facts, childhood and personal life.

Sit back while we take you on an exciting journey in the life of Luka Modric, who recently won the FIFA Best Footballer Award for 2018 as well as the Golden boot over the summer as he rose to the pinnacle of football success.

Luka Modric Biography Facts

Full Name Luka Modric
Nickname Cruyff of the Balkan
Birthday September 9, 1985 (age 33)
Place of Birth Zadar, SR Croatia
Nationality Croatian
Height 5 feet 8 inches
Shoe Size 10
Weight 150 Ibs (66 kg)
Education N/A
Parents Stipe Modric (father), Rodojka Modric (mother)
Spouse Vanja Bosnic
Children Ivano Modric (son), Ema Modric (daughter), Sofia Modric (daughter)
Net Worth $7.5 million
Occupation Football Player
Position Central Midfielder
Playing Career 2003–present
Zodiac Sign Virgo

Luka Modric Childhood and Early Life

Luka Modric childhood photo
Luka Modric childhood photo. He had a difficult childhood.

Born September 9, 1985, and raised in Modric in Zadar, Croatia, Modric is the eldest child born to his father, Stipe Modric, and mother, Rodojka Modric. Modric had the worst moment in his childhood when his grandfather who is also his namesake, Luka Modric was shot in the field while tending to his livestock. The culprits were however sentenced by the court of the Hage decades later.

Modric had to flee his hometown as a result of the Croatian War of Independence. He turned to football as a way to escape the reality of the war. He played football as a child in a hotel parking lot. Modric drew inspiration to play football from Zvonimir Boban and Francesco Totti.

Luka Modric Club Career

Dinamo Zagreb (2003–2008)

Tomislav Basic, Modric’s sporting father helped him in securing a place in Dinamo Zagreb in 2001 before he was loaned to Zrinjski Mostar in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Premier League. Young Modric put up an impressive performance which earned him the Player of the Year at the age of 18. Modric was then loaned again to Croatian Side Inter Zapresic. While playing for Zapresic, he was named to the National team second team. In 2004, Modric won the Croatian Football Hope of the Year Award. He returned to Dinamo Zagreb in 2005.

Luka Modric in playing for Dinamo Zagreb
Luka Modric in playing for Dinamo Zagreb

Modric signed a ten-year contract with Dinamo Zagreb in the 2005-2006 season, marking his first long-term contract. Modric helped Zagreb clinch the league title in his debut season. He also achieved a similar feat in the following season. Modric won the Prva HNL Player of the Year for his contribution. In his fourth-year with Zagreb, they won the Croatian Cup, which earned him courtship from Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea nut decided to stay with Zagreb a little longer.

Tottenham Hotspur (2008–2012)

In April 2008, Modric was transferred to the Tottenham Hotspur. Modric signed a six-year contract. He debuted for the Spurs in August against Middlesbrough. Modric was labelled a lightweight by critics in the Premier League including ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. His problem was further compounded by a knee injury. New Spurs boss Harry Redknapp saw his potentials, thus changed his role to the central midfield which granted him control in the team’s play. Modric registered his first premier league goal in December 2008, against Newcastle United. In August 2009, he sustained a calf injury against Birmingham City which ruled him out for six weeks.  He came back to action in December same year.  In May 2010, Modric signed a new contract with the Spurs which ended in 2016. Modric was a key figure in the Spurs UEFA Champions League qualification. After playing 32 Premier league matches, Modric was named Tottenham Hotspur F.C Player of the Year. Modric was pursued heavily in a failed bid by Chelsea.

Luka Modric playing for Tottenham Hotspur
Luka Modric playing for Tottenham Hotspur in a game between the Spurs vs Blackburn Rovers at the White Hart Lane on November 13, 2010, London, England. Photo credit: Zimbio

Real Madrid (2012–present)

In the 2012–2013 season, Modric signed a five-year deal with the Spanish giant, Real Madrid with a transfer fee worth 30 million Pounds. Modric debuted for Madrid two days later against rivals Barcelona in the second leg of the 2012 Supercopa Final, serving as a substitute to Mesut Ozil. Madrid was victorious, granting Modric his first trophy with the cup, barely 36 after his transfer from Spurs. Modric was not on the starting lineup for Madrid in his debut season due to the presence of experienced midfielders Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira, as well as Mesut Ozil.

Modric began appearing in the starting line-ups after the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti, in the 2013-2014 season. After a successful run in the UEFA Champions League, Modric was included in the UEFA Team of the Week for both legs semi-finals in the season. Madrid went on to conquer Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid to claim it’s tenth Champions League title, the first for Modric. Modric was included in the UEFA Team of the Season and earned the LFP award for the Best Midfielder.

Modric signed a contract set to expire in 2018 with Real Madrid in November 2014. With the exit of Xabi Alonso, Toni Kroos was paired with Modric in the midfield. Madrid started their campaign with a UEFA Super Cup victory. Modric was out for three months due to a thigh injury sustained in an international duty. At the end of the 2014–2015 season, Modric was included in the FIFA World XI. Modric continued to be a dominant figure in Madrid’s play with the arrival of new managers Rafael Benitez and Zinedine Zidane. Modric was a prominent figure in Madrid Champions league victory. He was included in the Champions League and La Liga team of the season. He was included in the FIFA World XI and UEFA Team of the Year.

Modric went on to sign a new contract with Madrid in October of 2016, which is set to expire in 2020. He won the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup after recovering from a knee injury. He was also a dominant figure in Madrid’s 2016-2017 La Liga and Champions League wins. He was awarded the UEFA Club Football Award for Best Midfielder. He came fourth in the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award and fifth in the 2017 Ballon d’Or. He earned his third selection to the FIFA World XI.

Modric playing for Real Madrid
Luka Modric of Real Madrid playing during the La Liga match between SD Eibar and Real Madrid on March 10, 2018, at Ipurua Municipal Stadium, Eibar, Spain. Photo credit: The Boot Room

In the 2017-018 season, Modric began adorning the number 10 jersey. He also claimed the 2017 FIFA Cup World Cup with Madrid along with the Golden Boot award. Real Madrid continued their UEFA Champions league victory streak, claiming the title for the third time. Modric was selected to the UEFA Champions League team of the season for the third straight time, he also was awarded the UEFA Club Football Award for best Midfielder. He was also included in the FIFA World XI for the fourth time. Modric helped the Croatian National team to World Cup Final before losing out to France. He was awarded the tournament’s Golden Boot. He also won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award and the Best FIFA Men’s Player, breaking a decade-long duopoly between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Luka Modric wins best player of year, 2018
Modric delivers his acceptance speech after receiving the FIFA Best Player of the Year award in 2018

Luka Modric National Team Career

Modric began appearing for the Croatian National team side since the age of 15. He appeared in the 2006 World Cup, the 2008 Euros, 2012 Euros, 2014 World Cup, 2016 Euros and the 2018 World Cup.

Luka Modric Personal Life

After four years of dating his girlfriend, Vanja Bosnic, Modric tied the knot in May 2010 in a private ceremony. They both have 3 kids, Ivano their son born in 2010, Ema born in April 2013 and Sofia born in October 2017. Modric is known to keep a low profile outside football. He was a witness in the embezzlement and tax evasion trial of ex Dinamo Zagreb executive, Zdravko Mamic in March 2018. Despite the stress of witnessing in the trial case, Modric still put up a wonderful performance for Croatia in the World Cup earning the praises of the Media.

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