ZAGREB, 27 December 2018 – Croatia football captain Luka Modrić has had the year of his life. Yesterday in Zagreb, Modrić received the Croatian sportsman of the year award for the first time.
It was the perfect end to a great year in which he also won the UEFA Champions League, 2018 World Cup Golden Ball, UEFA Player of the Year, FIFA ‘Best’ Player of the Year, IFFHS Playmaker of the Year, runners-up medal at the World Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup trophy and the prestigious Ballon d’Or.
Despite all this success, the hunger is still there for the 33-year-old. Speaking to HRT in Zagreb after picking up his award on Wednesday, Modrić said:
“We all love to win trophies, both individual and with the team, then the apetite just gets bigger. It defintely does not go away because you want to experience it all over again,” Modrić said before opening up about retirement from the national team.
Although other senior members of the national team this summer like Mario Mandžukić, Danijel Subašić and Vedran Ćorluka decided to depart after the success in Russia, Modrić’s thoughts were very different.
“I have to be honest, I decided with my heart. Despite others saying and thinking that it would have been an idea moment to retire from the national team (after Russia), I do not think that way. The silver in Russia, regardless of what ever happens in the future, nothing can put shade on that. I am enjoying playing for the national team and I will be here as long as I can be. All the awards I would change for winning the World Cup, but unfortunately that did not happen. The sadness of not winning was replaced with happiness when we saw all our people when we experienced such a reception (in Zagreb),” the world’s best player concluded.
Modrić’s next task with the national team will be the Euro 2020 qualification opener against Azerbaijan in Zagreb on 21 March 2019.