Would Change My Individual Trophies For The World Cup: Luka Modric
For such a small country to win the best player award, it’s something amazing: Luka Modric
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were far from the auditorium by the River Thames when Luka Modric broke their decade-long grip on FIFA's award for the world's best player.
Football's biggest individual accolade was handed to the 33-year-old playmaker on Monday night in recognition of a year when he led Croatia to its first World Cup final and won a fourth Champions League title in five seasons with Real Madrid.
It (FIFA Award) is very important, because for such a small country to win the best player award, it’s something amazing and that shows other small countries that everything is possible. You just need to believe and to work for it. And that all dreams could come true.Luka Modric
Modric has had to accept playing in Ronaldo's shadow during six years at Madrid even as the 1.72 metre (5-foot-8) technically-gifted Croatian's ingenuity on the ball and passing range made him as a key component in the team's European dominance.
Modric and Ronaldo on a third successive Champions League in May before achieving something far more unexpected: captaining Croatia to its first World Cup final, where his team lost 4-2 to France in the final in July.
I will change everything to win it in Russia. For me the team is always more important and I would change all my individual trophies for that trophy of World Cup Champion.Luka Modric
“Of course, this also a recognition of all the hard work I had at Real Madrid and the national team and for this I am happy that the people are recognising me as the best this year,” added Modric.
Former Croatia captain Zvonimir Boban, now a FIFA deputy secretary general, cried after being lauded by Modric from the stage.
"At this particular moment, I would like to mention my footballing idol and captain of Croatia generation 1998," Modric said, referring to the team that finished third in the nation's first World Cup appearance 20 years ago.
"He was my big inspiration and that team gave us belief that we could achieve something great in Russia. Hopefully we can be the same for next generations," added Modric.
(With inputs from AP)
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