While France was picked as one of the favourites to win the World cup before it got underway, few would have thought about Croatia making it all the way to the finals. There are several people who have given their all to come this far in the mega event and one of them is none other than the Croatian captain, Luka Modric.
He has not only carried the hopes of the entire nation on his shoulders but also delivered at the right moment, time and time again. His heroics sees a nation, that is younger than Modric himself, up against the mighty Frenchmen in the World Cup final. But few people are aware of the journey of Luka Modric who now boasts of his ability with pride having led his nation with all his heart.
Modric spent his younger days in a war-torn Croatia where he woke up to bomb attacks which were a familiar sight that time in the country. His grandfather lost his life to a similar bomb blast whose name he inherited.
Following the incident, he had to shift to a broken-down hotel in Zadar as a refugee. But his passion for football was hard to be extinguished and at the age of 6, a hotel worker saw him playing football in the damaged parking lot of the hotel and called the director of NK Zadar, a local football club. Talking about the talented young kid, a spokesperson for that hotel once said:
“He had broken more glass on the hotel windows than what the bombs had hit. He was playing non-stop football all around the hotel halls.”
The midfielder whose childhood had seen air raids, fire, and almost everything, was determined to write his name in the history books. Speaking to Daily Mail, he said:
“You have to understand something about Croatian people. After everything that has happened, after the war, we are stronger, tougher.”
“The war made us stronger.”
“What we’ve been through was not easy. The war made us stronger. We are not easy people to break. It’s hard to break us. And there is a determination to show that. To show that we can succeed.”
Modric, in his early days, was ruled out by coaches due to his thin physique which they thought was not ideal for surviving in the sport. But he proved everyone wrong and now is one of the most wanted midfielders in the world. Speaking on the same he said:
“I wanted to prove them wrong and now, I think, they have to admit they were wrong.”
“I don’t know what will happen in the final.”
“France is a strong team and they say it’d be tough for Croatia to beat them. But they said that many times before in this tournament, and clearly they were not correct. “
No matter what happens in the finale, we salute a warrior, a true champion for achieving such heights despite all the difficulties he went through in his life. Best of luck for the finale, Luka Modric.