Luka Modric Birthday: Real Madrid star story, from surviving the war in his country to winning the Ballon D’or, Modric has come a long way ahead.
Luka Modric is undoubtedly among the greatest players of this generation, and was the first player to break Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s dominance in Ballon D’or last year.
However, things were not easy for the Croatian International, as the player who turned 34-years-old today was born in a war torn country, the player even had to flee his home in Croatia in order to live.
Some of the most intense fighting of the Croatian War of Independence uprooted countless families in what was quickly becoming the former Yugoslavia.
Modric’s family was among them, and the stories of that era are truly heartbreaking, as it only speaks of violence, deaths and despair.
Among the all footballers, who were born in that era, Modric’s story is the most poignant. His grandfather was killed by rebels from the Serbian Autonomous Oblast of Krajina, a self-proclaimed, self-governing area of what is now Croatia.
All across the Balkan states, ethnic tensions had existed since centuries, yet all these communities lived together for peacefully. However, when, Modric was born the differences among these communities had fuelled and ended up in violence.
It prompted the Modric family to flee and while they were in exile, the house they left behind was torched. Their new abode was the Hotel Kolovare, still in Zadar, and later the Hotel Iž.
Bombs continued to decimate the Croatian cities but Modric during his early days got a pool of children to play at the refugee camps. In 2001, at the age of 16, Modric was picked up by Dinamo Zagreb – perhaps fittingly, given the club’s own deep connections with the conflict.
The lean midfielder earlier being doubted by fans led his club to three successive title victories. Later, Modric made a transfer to Tottenham Hotspurs, where he once again made his mark.
Only to go to the grandest club he ever played for-Real Madrid, over where he won 4 Champions League and one La Liga title to prove himself as a maestro in midfield. The 34-year-old journey by Modric has been mythical and it should continue to remain as one.