In an interview with GQ Magazine, midfielder Luka Modric explained how his position is just as important as the rest in football.
After Luka Modric won the Ballon d’Or on Monday, he made a shout out to three specific players who were snubbed in the award during the Messi/Ronaldo era and all three of them were important midfielders in football history.
The names he dropped were those of legends Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, and Wesley Sneijder.
Coincidentally, all those three players failed to win the Ballon d’Or in 2010 because Lionel Messi received it to everybody’s surprise.
Last Monday’s victory signifies a massive victory not only for Luka Modric, but also for all those exquisite midfielders who have always gotten snubbed over a forward in award ceremonies.
Luka Modric’s talent was more than enough this year for all the voters, who chose him above goal-scorers like Cristiano Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé, and even Lionel Messi.
One could even make the argument that passing skills were recognized above goals during 2018, something that comes across as refreshing in the era that we are living in today.
Modern football had been about who scored the most goals in a single year, and that was the best player in the world to everyone’s eyes.
Modric on winning the Balón d’Or: “It’s true that I had to win a lot to make it happen like winning 3 consecutive Champions Leagues and heading to the World Cup Final with small country as Croatia. Only then, others realized football is not only goals, goals & goals.” [GQ] pic.twitter.com/1vOO5fsQ1U
— SB (@Realmadridplace) December 5, 2018
But the generations are changing, everybody is starting to value footballers like Modric now and the player wanted to point it out on an interview he gave to the prestigious GQ Magazine.
Modric’s words come as a great reminder and an homage to those players who failed to win awards in the past, he made sure that message was clear with both statements from Monday and today.
“The journey has been very long and tough, but because of that I am even happier about all that is happening now,” he said in an interview with GQ Magazine as quoted by Marca.
“All of the recognition, such as the FIFA World Player award or the Ballon d’Or, tastes better when you’re aware that nobody gifted you anything.”
“Nobody has gifted anything to me.”All that I have achieved has come through work. It makes me happy that people have finally recognized all that I’ve achieved in my sporting career.”
“It is true that I have had to win a lot for this to happen, such as three Champions League title in a row and reaching the World Cup with a nation as small as Croatia, something that was unimaginable.”
“Only then have others realized that football isn’t just goals, goals and goals,” he concluded.
🏆 Luka Modric scooped another personal accolade last night at the GQ Men of the Year awards
🧐 Surely he has to win the Ballon d'Or next month?
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) November 23, 2018
Modric was also speaking indirectly in the name of another footballer who didn’t score many goals, but also had an incredible World Cup with his national team.
In many people’s eyes, the Belgian Eden Hazard was just as good if not better than Modric in many ways.
It was a shame that he didn’t win as many titles as the Croatian midfielder, because Hazard was also brilliant during the summer competition and he also deserved to be at the top of the final list in the Ballon d’Or but he did make it to the 8th spot with 119 points.
As far as Luka Modric goes, it’s pretty difficult for him to win another Ballon d’Or next season, the one he got last Monday is a perfect way to crown such an incredible career but what he achieved is no small feat.
His name will forever be linked right next to the era of dominance that Messi and Ronaldo took by storm for a whole decade, the name of a midfielder nonetheless.
But on another note, although Luka’s award is well-deserved, players like Iniesta or Xavi don’t really need to win such a prize to remind us that they are also legends of the game.
Luka Modric es protagonista de la más reciente edición de la Revista GQ. pic.twitter.com/RbsJ87irVE
— Real Madrid (@realmadridnote) December 5, 2018
Which midfielders in football history deserved to win a Ballon d’Or in your opinion? Please leave your take in the comment section down below.