• News

Modric: A lot of people didn’t believe in me in my early days

Luka Modric Ballon d'Or
Getty Images

Luka Modric revealed the doubts people had in him during the beginning of his career and added that he’s had to work for everything he’s achieved

The Croatian playmaker has had a stellar career in football, which reached an all-time high this year after winning the Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s The Best award.

This comes following Modric’s role in helping Real Madrid win a third successive Champions League title and leading Croatia to their first-ever World Cup final.

But the GQ Man of the Year Best Sportsman, who’s also played for Dinamo Zagreb and Tottenham, admits he hasn’t always had it so good.

“I have lived surrounded by doubts since I was young due to my size, not being so tall,” said Modric, according to AS.

“Some people thought it was important to triumph in life and in football but I have never doubted myself.

“It’s not important that others say, I had my dreams and I always looked ahead…I never had a doubt that I was going to achieve them.”

On winning an award, Modric said: “Nobody has gifted me anything. Everything was achieved because of work.”

He added: “When I was young, I went on loan to a club in Bosnia and everyone thought I wasn’t going to make it, after they loaned me to a team in Croatia and a year and a half later I came to the best club in the country, Dinamo Zagreb, and again I had to listen to people say I couldn’t play at this level. After, I came to England and to Croatia’s first team…the same doubts.”

“All of this only made me stronger. Thanks to this confidence and this faith in myself and the support of the people close to me got me to the best club in the world.

“And although I am where I am today in Madrid, at the start, people didn’t believe in me.

“It’s part of my life, always surrounded by doubts, always listening to people say I will not get to the top.”

After ending Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s 10-year hold of the Ballon d’Or, Modric is proud to prove that football is more than just about the number of goals scored.

“It’s true that I had to win a lot of things to succeed,” he says.

“Winning three Champions League in a row, and to bring a country as small as Croatia to the World Cup final, that is something almost unimaginable.

“Just now, others have realised that football is not just about goals, goals and goals.”