Pedja Mijatovic, the former Real Madrid striker and sporting director, is known to be a close friend to Luka Modric and his family. In an interview to The Athletic, which was an ode to Modric’s 500 games with Real Madrid, Mijatovic explained Modric’s elite mentality.
“Luka is a very atypical player. He never lives in the past, he always looks for motivation to continue to achieve,” Mijatovic revealed. “You talk to him now and even with everything he has won, he is still crazy about winning. You say to him: ‘What difference does it make to have one trophy more or one less?’. But no. It’s unbelievable. His ambition, it’s different. He is never happy — he wants more and more.
Mijatovic went on to discuss his disbelief at Modric’s longevity and his prediction for the next few years. “By all the parameters of football, both nowadays and especially the game of the past, Luka should have retired a couple of years ago. But then you see him play and you have to say this guy is not 38, he is 28. He runs like he runs, he trains like he trains, he sacrifices, he lives for football.”
“There will surely be a time when he will choose to stop playing, but as his real friend, my opinion is that he has two more years at least of competitive football to come. Luka can still give us a lot of joy.
To conclude, Mijatovic explained Modric decisiveness even at an older age. “He knows he is a certain age, maybe he is not able to play 60 games, but he also knows that, especially in an important match, 10 minutes is more than enough for him to make a difference. And making the difference is what he has always done.”