There's no denying that Luka Modrić and his Croatia team had a disappointing World Cup, crashing out in the group stage. Even with this setback, this has undoubtedly been Modrić's best season as a professional. It is easy to overlook the diminutive Croatian in Real Madrid's star studded, attention-grabbing starting XI, but make no mistake- he was los Blancos' most important player in 2013-2014. His abilities going forward, often ignited by his staggeringly good first touch, have never been doubted. There were flashes of this brilliance last year, highlighted by his goal at Old Trafford, but his season was generally disappointing.
Rumors circulated that saw Modrić leaving the Bernabeu, especially after being voted Marca's worst signing of the season (ahead of Alex Song...). But thankfully, Carlo Ancelotti decided to build his Real Madrid team around the player he once coveted so heavily while in charge at Chelsea. Under Ancelotti last season, Modrić was the best midfielder in the world. Modrić developed into a true midfield player, matching or even sometimes exceeding his offensive performance with sensational defensive and transitional play.
Watch above as Modrić single handedly splits 6 Bayern defenders, and opens up the field for a chance that Ronaldo should have finished. Such a play, which seemingly takes place on a weekly basis, cannot be recorded as a statistic and is therefore often forgotten- a true travesty.
In this clip (from the same bloody match!!), Modric displays what has made him the best midfielder in world football. Not many other players can make a tackle, shake off two defenders and then spay an inch perfect ball 50 meters downfield- especially not in a Champions League semifinal.
While a third clip won't do his entire season justice, this strike just further exemplifies the Croatian Magician's ability and foresight. That move is hard to complete in FIFA, let alone in real life. With his pedestrian stats, 2 goals and 9 assists (via goal.com), it is easy to see how the world overlooks our Croatian Dynamo. However, I urge you to look past those statistics and appreciate the divine footballer who will likely be wearing the #10 shirt for Real Madrid next year.
So here's to you Luka Modric- hopefully people will soon realize your uncanny abilities on a football pitch and give you the credit you deserve (even though your new haircut is awful).