At the age of six, Luka Modric’s life was rocked to the core. He was made a refugee after his grandfather was shot dead by ethnic Serb rebels close to his home. It was a moment that would live with him forever.
In the coming years, he would live in a warzone and grow up to the sound of grenades exploding as conflict went on.
He soon fled Croatia after his house was burned down but despite the troubles in his life, football was an escape for Modric.
He eventually moved into a hotel in the coastal town of Zadar, a place where war was still ongoing.
That didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream, though.
A spokesman for the Kolovare Hotel, where Modric lived as a youngster, once said via The Daily Mail: “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.”
Facilities for kids to play football are nice, but, Luka Modric didn’t need a 3G pitch as a kid to become one of the World’s best… pic.twitter.com/kYFCMvXey6
– Meanwhile in Scotia (@MeanwhileScotia) July 11, 2018
Football also had its obstacles.
Coaches said he was ‘too weak and too shy’ to play football but as we all know, his career fledged into something rather special. He has since played in the Premier League with Tottenham and enjoyed a hugely successful spell with Real Madrid, establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in world football.
When he was 6, his grandfather was shot dead.
His family became refugees, in a warzone.
He grew up to the sound of grenades exploding.
Coaches said he was too weak and too shy to play football.
Today, Luka Modric just led Croatia its first ever #WorldCup final.#CROENG pic.twitter.com/plOsy9nQcq
– Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) July 11, 2018
In addition to that, he’s the man who ended 10 years of Ballon d’Or dominance from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi by scooping this year’s prize at a ceremony in Paris.
Consistent as ever, he was integral to Real Madrid winning their third Champions League in a row under Zinedine Zidane thanks to a 3-1 win over Liverpool in Kiev.
He then followed that up by captaining Croatia to the World Cup final for the first time in their history – deservedly winning the Golden Ball for the tournament thanks to his incredible displays in the middle of the park.
Modric was handed the FIFA Men’s Best Player award from FIFA president Gianni Infantino back in September and now caps off a wonderful 2018 with his first ever Ballon d’Or.
A five-year old Modric used to herd sheep in the most humble of beginnings, now he’s been voted as the best player in world football.