Luka Modric: The Midfield Magician
Serial winner Luka Modrić is accustomed to success now but the diminutive playmaker from Zadar has encountered a few demons along the way. Tonight, the world-renowned midfielder will lead his country out in a World Cup semifinal.
Croatian football and politics often go hand in hand, in a nation where corruption and the darker side of the game are a daily reality. Tax evasion, dodgy payments to agents, club owners and even players, and the dark political under-belly in Croatian football drove him away. Since then, he has thrived and earned a reputation as one of the more unassuming and fame-dodging superstars first at Tottenham Hotspur and now at European Champions Real Madrid.
Modrić is not your typical superstar footballer and there's so much more to him than meets the eye. He's a silky, skillful ball-player but deep within burns a fire that drives him to succeed. That's according to former teammate Jermaine Jenas who thinks that England will have to keep Modrić quiet if they are to reach Sunday's final. Known for his vision and sublime first touch, he seems to have eyes in the back of his head and more time on the ball than most other players have. That's why a football match's tempo is usually dictated by the little maestro. 4 Champions League triumphs at Real Madrid, including 3 on the bounce, have equipped Modrić with the know-how required to win big games.
33 in September, Croatia's skipper is likely to be playing his last World Cup in red and white. Capped 111 times by Croatia, he's hoping that number 112 propels him and Croatia to the World Cup final. Tonight is undoubtedly the biggest international game in Luka Modric's life, but Real Madrid's number 10 knows all about dealing with pressure.
Where will you be watching Croatia vs England?