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.
“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.”