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REAL MADRID

Luka Modric celebrates his 34th birthday

Luka Modric was born in Zadar, which was Yugoslavia at the time. During his youth and the Balkan war, he was moved from his home, and he lived in hotels alongside other refugees.

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After the war, he moved back to his coutnry and the village of Zaton Obrovacki, but Modric decided to stay in Zadar to play football. Despite his the difficult times his family were going through, his parents supported his dream and at 16 Modric signed with Dynamo Zagreb.

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He was loaned out to H. Š. K. Zrinjski Mostar, a team in Bosnia Herzegovina and with them he played his first professional game of football in August 2003 against Borac Banja Luka. It was just one season but he was named best played in the league and the year after he went to Inter Zaprešić before returning to Zagreb where he would win three league titles, two Croatian cups and one Super Cup in 2006.

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He debuted with Croatia in March 2006 in an friendly against Argentina. He was also named in the World Cup squad in 2006 where they were knocked out in the group stage.

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In 2008, he signed with Tottenham for €21 million, which made him the most costly Spurs player ever after overtaking Darren Bent.

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In England, he suffered several injuries including a broken fibula in 2009. He was deemed to lightweight to make it in the Premier League but he managed 160 games in four seasons with 17 goals and 27 assists.

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On August 27, 2012 he signed with Real Madrid for five seasons. The Croatian declared at the time: "It is one of the happiest days of my life."

Photo: DIARIO AS

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On August 27, 2012 he signed with Real Madrid for five seasons. The Croatian declared at the time: "It is one of the happiest days of my life."

Photo: JAVIER GANDUL DIARIO AS

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Luka Modric with his family on the day he was presented to the Santiago Bernabéu as a Real Madrid player.

Photo: JUAN MEDINA REUTERS

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Modric debuted two days after that presentation in the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona as he came on as a replacement for Mesut Ozil. Real Madrid would win the game 2-1 (4-4 on aggregate) and the Croatian lifted his first trophy in white.

Photo: CHEMA DIAZ DIARIO AS

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Modric debuted two days after that presentation in the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona as he came on as a replacement for Mesut Ozil. Real Madrid would win the game 2-1 (4-4 on aggregate) and the Croatian lifted his first trophy in white.

Photo: CHEMA DIAZ DIARIO AS

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His first goal in white came on November 3 against Real Zaragoza. It was a left-footed strike inside the box, which made the scoreline 4-0.

Photo: Jesús Aguilera DIARIO AS

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He has always won over spectators with his ability to dictate play from the middle of the field. He has played 258 games, score 13 goals and assisted 40 in all competitions during his time in Madrid.

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In 2014, he was reunited with Gareth Bale, his teammate at Tottenham. He would help the Welsh attacker with his integration into the team.

Photo: Pepe Andrés DIARIO AS

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With Real Madrid, he has won a league title, a Copa del Rey, 2 Spanish Super Cups, 4 Champions Leagues, three Spanish Super Cups and 4 Club World Cups.

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His individual awards include: Croatian newcomer of the year 2004, Croatian footballer of the year in 2004 and 2007, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and player of the year at Prva HNL in 2007, best midfielder in LaLiga in 2014 and 2017 and in 2015, 2016 and 2017 he was in FIFA's best eleven in the world. And he also won World Soccer's best player and the Ballon d'Or in 2018.

Photo: Fernando Zueras DIARIO AS

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His individual awards include: Croatian newcomer of the year 2004, Croatian footballer of the year in 2004 and 2007, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and player of the year at Prva HNL in 2007, best midfielder in LaLiga in 2014 and 2017 and in 2015, 2016 and 2017 he was in FIFA's best eleven in the world. And he also won World Soccer's best player and the Ballon d'Or in 2018.

Photo: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU AFP

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Luka Modric with the Champions League after beating Liverpool in 2018.

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Modric during the World Cup in 2018.

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Modric with the World Cup's best player award after losing the final to France.

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Gianni Infantino consoles Modric after losing the World Cup final.

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Modric during the Croatian homecoming celebrations despite losing the World Cup final.

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Modric recieves another award after his incredible 2018.

Photo: ERIC GAILLARD REUTERS

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Modric picks up yet another award after his incredible 2018.

Photo: ERIC GAILLARD REUTERS

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Modric shows off his awards ahead of Real Madrid's opener in 2018-19.

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Modric with the Ballon d'Or.

Photo: BENOIT TESSIER REUTERS

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