Luka Modric Ends 10-year Reign

Modric Beats Messi and Ronaldo for Best Men’s Soccer Player of the Year

On September 25, 2018, a ten-year reign was finally finished.  For the first time since 2007, the award for best men’s soccer player of the year was not Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, who are arguably the two best players of all time.  The title was taken from them and given to Croatian midfielder, Luka Modric. In 2018, Luka Modric won the UEFA Champions League, which is the most coveted trophy in club soccer, for the third time in a row, and for the fourth time in five years.  In addition, he captained Croatia to a FIFA World Cup finals for the first time in Croatian history. Croatia has a total population of 4.22 million people, which is about the same population as Oregon. This is the farthest that a nation of this size has ever reached in a World Cup.  At the end of the tournament, Luka Modric was awarded the Golden Ball, which is the award given out for the MVP of the World Cup. The fact that he was awarded the Golden Ball without even winning the tournament speaks volumes of how influential he was in Croatia’s journey to the finals.  

When asked about whether Modric’s success in the Champions League or the World Cup was more influential in Luka Modric receiving the award, Trevor Kidd (‘20) said that he believes his success in the World Cup was more important.  Although he played a massive role in Real Madrid’s success in the Champions League, other players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos were of equal importance. However, Trevor believes that Croatia “wouldn’t have had a chance of making the finals” if it weren’t for Luka Modric.  He was able to show that he could put a team on his back and lead them without other players as exceptional as the players on Real Madrid. Trevor believes that Luka Modric is 100% deserving of the award and there is no other player who deserved it more.

Luka Modric was not always as highly regarded as he is now.  At one point in his career, Modric was playing for a mid-sized club called Tottenham Hotspur in England.  In his time there, he was miles ahead of the standard for the club, so it was inevitable that he would eventually move on to a bigger and better club.  In 2012, after just four years with Tottenham, he made his big money move from to Real Madrid of Spain. One year later, he was labeled the “worst La Liga signing of 2012.”  He did not fit into the system or mechanics of Real Madrid at first, so he had to change something. Jack Kainer (‘20) believes that Luka Modric’s attitude is what made him grow so far as a player.  It isn’t easy to remain disciplined after such a shaky start with the club, but his attitude caused him to persevere through his difficult times. Now, 6 years later at the age of 33, he is considered the best player in the world.  However, as he is 33 years old, he certainly won’t be at the top for much longer. Trevor Kidd believes that Modric has reached his peak as a player, but will continue to be a world class player for a few more years. Mason Dudley (‘21)  enjoys watching Modric play as he says that his movement on and off the ball and “natural ability on the ball” is what sets him apart from most players. He also has a great work ethic and is willing to put himself on the line for the greater good of the team.  Luka Modric is a great role model due to his commitment and dedication which has led him to becoming the best player this world has to offer.