Luka Modric biography

Sat 13 March 2021 | 16:30

Who is Luka Modric? Who is the man who managed to break Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or domination cycle? Follow us below as we take a detailed look at Luka Modric biography and get to know the reason behind Real Madrid’s legendary success in the Champions League.

Perhaps no one could have thought that

Cristiano Ronaldo


Lionel Messi

’s Ballon d’Or cycle of domination would end by a midfielder who was never even considered to be a winner of the most prestigious individual award. When it comes to vision, speed, dribbling, maturity and a tactical awareness that promises the prospect of a future world-class manager, few could reach the level of the Croatian midfield mastermind Luka Modric, who has accumulated so much success and so many trophies throughout his career at Real Madrid.

Even though Modric is not a Spaniard and despite the fact that the likes of Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema carry the responsibility of the captain’s armband at the Spanish side, the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has found his own special place in the hearts of Madridistas and basically everyone who follows Real Madrid’s footballing journey.

Few people in football have managed to spend their time not having to deal with any haters, simply because they do not have any haters. But Modric is certainly a part of this elite group, as one can rarely see someone spread hatred towards the Croatian as much as they do against the likes of

Sergio Ramos

or Neymar.

That is why many would be interested to know more about

Luka Modric bio

, as it might tell us why he is a member of the non-hated group. So follow us below as we take a deeper look into the midfielder’s life both on and off the pitch, and give detailed information about his professional stats in a rather packed Luke Modric biography.

Luka Modric date of birth

is 9 September 1985, which means that he turned 35 years old in September of 2020. The fact that he is still going strong is a sign of his mentality and shows the amount of effort and time he puts into his game. He shares his birthday with the likes of Brazilian and former


midfielder Oscar, and former


man Alex Song, who were also born on 9 September.

While those following club football know exactly what

Luka Modric nationality

is, it took those only watching international football a while to get to know the midfielder, as his fame and success double after his heroics and phenomenal performance at the 2018 World Cup, where he helped his underdog of a team reach the Final against France. Modric was born in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but is now known as a Croatian after Yugoslavia’s eventual dissolution in 1992.

Being born in a country in Central Europe, guessing what

Luka Modric religion

might be is not that difficult, as the country is predominantly consisted of Christians, especially Roman-Catholics. The Croatian midfielder’s religion is, as you might have guessed, Christianity.

Everything you need to know about Luka Modric bio

The information provided above was just the tip of the iceberg, as there is still a lot more to know about

Luka Modric biography

. So read on as we delve into the life of the one-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Luka Modric information

Before going into detail about the

Real Madrid

man’s life and providing more information on Luka Modric biography, we have listed below a set of basic info about the midfielder, which will give you an overview of his general status.


  • Full name:

    Luka Modric

  • Nickname:

    Cruyff of the Balkan

Physical Stats

  • Height:

    1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)

  • Hair color:

    Light Brown

  • Eye color:

    Medium Blonde

Football information

  • Position:

    Central Midfield

  • Jersey number:


  • Professional debut:

    25 July 2006

Personal information

  • Date of birth:

    9 September 1985

  • Place of birth:

    Zadar, SR Croatia (Croatia)

  • Marital status:


Now that we have a basic understanding about the former Dinamo Zagreb central midfielder, follow us below as we take a deeper look into Luka Modric biography and see how he managed to rise up the ranks and become a world-class player in football halls of fame, playing for one of the most decorated clubs in the world.

Luka Modric early life

Luka Modric was born on 9 September 1985 in Zadar in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to parents Radojka and Stipe. His mother Radojka used to be a textile worker and his father was a mechanic at the time. Luka was named after his grandfather, who was executed by Serb rebels of SAO Karajina in during the Croatian War of Independence in December 1991.

Born and raised in the hamlet of Modrici, Luka’s family were forced to flee their home village and move away due to the increasing risk of death during the war. Before the war, of course,

Luka Modric childhood

was as simple as it could get in the village of Modrici, where he would help his family as a goat shepherd at the mere age of five years old.

After the war had started, however, everything changed for the young boy as they went into hiding and their home was burned to the ground. The young Luka and his family spent years at Hotel Kolovare and later stayed at Hotel Iz in Zadar, as they had no other place to go to as refugees. His father, Stipe, made use of his skills and enlisted in the Croatian Army as an Aeromechanic.

Despite the horrific memories of the war, or maybe because of what he had seen during the conflicts,

Luka Modric life story

took a big turn when he was introduced to the game of football as a way of escaping the terror that the war had brought upon the people of Croatia, after which he got to kick a ball around in the parking lot of the hotel his family were staying at.

Recalled by the now world-famous midfielder, he and his peers were thankfully mostly unaware of what was going on around them, as families tended to stop such matters from affecting their children.

Eventually, Modric’s passion for football grew as he entered primary school and signed up for a football academy, where he could further develop his skills at a young age, despite his family’s poor status, who had to spend the little money they had so that their son could flourish. Growing up, his idols were former Croatian footballer Zvonimir Boban and

AS Roma

legend Francesco Totti.

Having gone into football with the mindset of one day becoming a professional footballer, Modric went to trials at Hajduk Split, but was rejected by the club who believed that the young Luka did not have the necessary strength to become a football player. Luckily, however, he did later on get to sign for

Dinamo Zagreb

youth team, where he finally managed to shine and show his immense potential during his slow and steady growth at the club.

He would not have made it to Dinamo Zagreb had it not been for Tomislav Basic, who discovered the Croatian talent at a youth tournament in Italy. Modric considers Basic to be his footballing father, as he personally arranged a move for the then 16-year-old prospect to join the club in 2001. Witnessing the youngster’s potential and maturity at such a young age, the club decided to send him out on loan to get more first-team action and get ready to be called up to the team’s senior squad.

At the age of 18 years old, Modric was loaned out to Bosnian Premier League side

Zrinjski Mostar

, where he got to make use of his versatility and find his true position on the field by experimenting on a whole array of positions. Upon the expiration of his first loan spell, the young footballer quickly moved on another loan stint to Inter Zapresic in his home country, where he spent a season and managed to help his team to the preliminary round in the UEFA Cup and earned himself the Croatian Football Hope of the Year award in 2004.

Having achieved so much at such a young age, Dinamo Zagreb finally called back the talented midfielder in 2005 to introduce him to the world of football on the big stage, where the world’s elite played.

Luka Modric profile

Coming back from two loan spells, the young prospect signed his first long-term contract with Dinamo Zagreb, which was a whopping 10-year deal with the Croatian club. He made his professional debut at his club in the UEFA Champions League Qualification match against Ekranas Panevezys on 25 July 2006 at the age of 20 years, 10 months and 16 days old. He went on to make his league debut four days later in the 1-0 win against Slaven Belupo Koprivnica.

His impressive form helped Modric earn his place in the club’s first team, where he got to help Dinamo win the league with 7 goals in 31 appearances in his first season. He later helped his side win the league for a second consecutive year by repeating his phenomenal performance, which earned him the Prva HNL Player of the Year award and paved the way to his captaincy at the club in his third season.

After spending a total of four seasons at Dinamo Zagreb and scoring 31 goals and providing 29 assists in the process, Modric managed to catch the eyes of many world-class football clubs in Europe such as


, Barcelona, Tottenham and Chelsea, which led to him signing for Tottenham Hotspur in 2008.

He joined the English club in the summer of 2008, alongside many other summer signings that season, being the Premier League’s first signing of the season. Tottenham got their man for €21 million, and assigned him the number 14 shirt, which Modric donned out of respect for and in honor of former footballing mastermind Johan Cruyff. Despite having equaled the transfer fee record of Darren Bent, Modric made his

Premier League

debut in the rather disappointing defeat to Middlesbrough in the club’s first game of the season, which they lost 2-1.

The Croatian midfielder’s stint at Tottenham was riddled with struggles and difficulties in the first years, but he did eventually get to turn the tides in his favor with his impressive performance in the 2011-12 season, when Real Madrid first got their eyes on the talented player during their

Champions League

quarter-final clash against Tottenham. Later on in the season, Modric announced his intentions for leaving the English club, with a possible switch to another London-based club, namely Chelsea, with whom he seemed to have had a pre-contract agreement.

Chelsea did eventually try to pursue the wantaway footballer by making several offers for the Croatian throughout the season, with the figure reaching more than €45 million on the transfer deadline day. However, all offers from Chelsea were rejected by Spurs, who were hoping to keep their star man for a couple of more seasons or at least sell him to a club outside of England. That is when Jose Mourinho came in knocking on behalf of Real Madrid, as they managed to sign Modric for reportedly €35 million on 27 August 2012.

Modric signed a five-year contract with Los Blancos and got to make his debut in El Clasico in the 2012 Spanish Supercup, coming on as a substitute for

Mesut Ozil

in the 83rd minute. They did eventually get to win the Supercup and hand the Croatian midfielder his first trophy at Real Madrid. But it did take longer than expected for Modric to settle in at his new club due to a lack of pre-season involvement.

While he was used to being deployed as an attacking midfielder during his days at Dinamo Zagreb and Tottenham, Modric’s position was reevaluated as he was deployed deeper in friendly territory as a central midfielder, where he truly got to realize his full potential. Of course his first few months at Real Madrid was underwhelming for the Croatian, as Spanish newspaper Marca dubbed

Luka Modric

the worst signing of the season.

Afterwards, however, the central midfielder managed to once again turn the tides in his favor and perform at his best in some of the most pivotal matches of his career. He first provided the assist for Sergio Ramos’ 82nd minute decisive goal against Barcelona, which helped the Galacticos win another El Clasico 2-1, and then went on to score a brilliant long-range goal against Manchester United in the Champions League, which saw Real Madrid go through to the next round 3-2 on aggregate.

His reign as the club’s best and irreplaceable midfielder began after the departure of Mesut Ozil, Xabi Alonso and

Sami Khedira

, and the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti, who entrusted his midfielder to the Croatia international, who did not let him down and helped his club win the long-awaited La Decima (The tenth Champions League title) in the 2013-14 season.

Modric then got to pair up with Toni Kroos and Casemiro in the middle of the field, from where they helped Real Madrid win three consecutive Champions League titles under the management of Zinedine Zidane, while also winning La Liga on two occasions. His impressive performance continued to the 2018 World Cup, where Modric helped Croatia reach the final of the competition, where they lost to France. Despite his national team being the runners-up in the World Cup, Modrid did manage to win the Best FIFA Men’s Player and the Ballon d’Or awards after his heroics at the World Cup.

Style of play

As fast-paced quick-thinking and tactically aware midfielder, Luka Modric is the complete package when it comes to someone who can both defend the ball and the goal from opposition players and also pose a serious threat to the opposition goalkeeper with his long-range shots and dribbling ability. Being quite adept in position and having the ability of playing laser-guided passes, Modric can help a team run like clockwork, distributing and later collecting the ball from teammates, having the vision to find open spaces behind enemy lines.

His play style has earned him the nicknames “Cruyff of the Balkan” and “The Puppet Master” throughout his career at Real Madrid. Not only can the Croatian star control and pass the ball with unbelievable accuracy, he can also dribble his way through opposition defenders with ease, which helps him delve deep into the opposition box to complete a cutback and find his teammates in the middle of the box.


Despite receiving early criticism from the media during the first months of his arrival at Real Madrid, Luka Modric has managed to overturn the views on his performance and change the way people see him both as a footballer and a person. Sports journalist Jonathan Wilson highlighted the difference between Modric and traditional number tens in football, believing that his involvement in defensive duties is what makes him unique in his position in the center of the field.

Even the former Barcelona and


legend Johan Cruyff, who revolutionized football and paved the way for a more fluid modern football, had his say on Luka Modric as well, praising his quality and believing that his performance is dependent on the amount of freedom given to the player.

Other legendary footballers and icons such as Zinedine Zidane, Gennaro Gattuso, Paul Scholes and

Ivan Rakitic

have also stated that Modric is one of the best midfielders in football history, with his manager Zidane saying to the Croatian in a private conversation in 2016 that he believed Modric could win the Ballon d’Or someday.

Goal celebration

Despite being a lethal midfielder, Luka Modric has not developed a personal and unique trademark of a goal celebration style for himself, as he usually uses simple celebration runs to celebrate his often brilliant goals with his teammates and the fans at the stadium.

Luka Modric outside football

Luka Modric is undoubtedly one of the best footballers in history, which is why it is no surprise to see sponsors lining up to sign a contract with the Croatian. Modric’s currently outfitter is Nike who design his very own unique boots to use during matches, despite his current team being sponsored by Adidas.

As a complete family man, Modric spends his time outside of football with his family, while also allocating time to other activities such as writing and publishing his own autobiography, named “Moja igra” (My Game), in cooperation with Croation Journalist Robert Matteoni. He has also been one of the best midfielders on EA Sports’ yearly editions of FIFA, with his overall rating on FIFA 21 being 87.

Luka Modric personal life

Having gone through a large chunk of

Luka Modric biography

from his childhood to his professional career at Dinamo Zagreb, Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid, we have provided below a set of personal information about the Croatia international’s life. So follow us below for more details on Mordic’s social life, personal matters and family.

Family, children and relationships

While some footballers tend to keep their options wide open when it comes to dating and romantic relationships, Luka Modric only had one option in mind since the very beginning of his romantic relationship with Vanja Bosnic. The two met each other in 2006 and quickly started dating afterwards upon Modric’s return to Dinamo Zagreb from his loan spell.

Having dated for four years, the couple got married in May 2010 in Zagreb, after which they gave birth to their first son, Ivano, on June 2010. Ivano’s sister Ema was born three years later in 2013, with the couple welcoming their second daughter in October 2017.


Luka Modric has taken part in various humanitarian activities and has donated his time and money to local and international charities all over. He supported the “Game, Set, Croatia” event hosted by the Marin Cilic Foundation in 2019, and the “Korak u Zivot” (A step into life) charity, which helped youngsters raised in children’s home make the transition into the higher education system. He has also supported the Arthur Rank Hospice charity.

Legal issues

Luka Modric has a calm nature and tends to keep away from any controversies. But the controversy found the former Dinamo Zagreb midfielder in March 2018, when he was called up to court as a witness for the embezzlement and tax evasion case against Dinamo Zagreb executive Zdravko Mamic. Mamic had previously received a large portion of Modric’s earnings from the transfer fee after his move to Tottenham due to the footballer annexing his income to the executive in recognition of his financial support during Modric’s early days as a footballer.

Modric had signed several contracts with Mamic during his time at Dinamo Zagreb and a misinformation in his statements resulted in Modric himself being accused of perjury. Of course the Croatian midfielder believed he was innocent and had the backing of the Croatian Football Federation. However, in the end, despite all charges being dropped against Modric, it did cause frustration among a group of the Croatian public, who still believed that he had a hand in the corrupt football of



Luka modric career statistics

Following the details provided above, we present to you all the most important information about Luka Modric’s career stats since the beginning of his journey up until now on both club and international levels.


Having played for a number of clubs throughout his career, Modric is a true veteran of the game with more than 600 appearances throughout his career. In the process of 600 games played, the midfielder has managed to score a total of 65 goals and provide another 106 assists, despite playing in a deeper position at Real Madrid. His best stats, of course, belong to his days with the Spanish giants, having made more than 375 appearances in more than eight years with the club, scoring 26 goals and providing 58 assists in the process.


Luka Modric got to play for Croatia’s U17, U19 and U21 sides during his youth days before finally making his senior international debut in the international friendlies against Argentina on the first day of March in 2006, at the age of 20 years, 5 months and 20 days old. He has since managed to make a total of 133 appearances for the Croatia national team, scoring 16 goals and providing 20 assists in the process.

Luka Modric honors

Having played for three clubs, one of which are amongst the most decorated clubs in the world, Modric has managed to win a whole array of individual and collective honors and trophies throughout his career.

His individual honors include: UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament (2008), Tottenham Hotspur Player of the Year (2010-11), UEFA Champions League Team of the Season (5 times), La Liga’s best midfielder (2 times), FIFA FIFPro WorldXI (5 times), La Liga Team of the Season (2015-16), FIFA Club World Cup Silver Ball (2016), UEFA Team of the Year (3 times), UEFA Midfielder of the Season (2 times), IFFHS Men’s World Team (2 times), FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball (2018), FIFA World Cup Fantasy Team (2018), and the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award (2017-18).

Of course his more notable individual awards are: IFFHS World’s Best Playmaker, Ballon d’Or (2018), World Cup Player of the Year (2018), World Soccer Player of the Year (2018), AIPS Athlete of the Year (2018), Golden Foot (2019), IFFHS World team of the decade (2011-20) and the IFFHS UEFA team of the decade (2011-20).

Modric has also won numerous collective trophies, which include 3 Croatian League titles, 2 Croatian Cups, 2 La Liga titles, the Copa del Rey, 3 Supercopa de Espana trophies, 4 Champions League titles, 4 FIFA Club World Cups and 3 UEFA Supercups.




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