VITORIA-GASTEIZ, SPAIN - OCTOBER 06: Luka Modric of Real Madrid CF in action during the La Liga match between Deportivo Alaves and Real Madrid CF at Estadio de Mendizorroza on October 6, 2018 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Luka Modric revealed Zinedine Zidane comments spurned him on to reach his true potential and win the 2018 Ballon d’Or

The Croatian playmaker ended Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s decade-long dominance of the award on Monday night in Paris.

Modric’s brilliant displays for Croatia on route to the 2018 World Cup final along with helping Real Madrid wrap up a third consecutive Champions League title gave him the nod.

Now Modric has revealed a meeting he had with Zidane, shortly after he replaced Rafael Benitez as Real manager in 2016, was the key that unlocked his full potential.

“Here is something I will never forget: When Zinedine Zidane became Real Madrid coach, he called me into his office after training,” Modric told France Football.

“He told me how he was seeing me as a player and what he was expecting from me.

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“He said I was a very important player for him. And he said that he saw me as a Ballon d’Or winner one day.

“When someone like Zidane, with his personality and his career, says that to you, it gives you a lot of confidence.

“I admired him and I respected him a lot when he was a player.

“He saw me as someone like him, calm and a bit shy. He wanted me to open myself more.

“He made me a very important piece of the team when the team was playing very well.

“These words from Zidane helped me to go further on the pitch.”