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Modric: “I don’t want to wake up from this dream”

The Croatian told AS about his feelings on his 10th anniversary as a Real Madrid player: “It’s been ten years, but I approach each one as if it were the first”.

Modric, en Disneyland en un viaje familiar.
Instagram (Luka Modric)

On 27 August 2013, Luka Modric signed for Real Madrid. It was a dream come true, one that he had been nurturing since he was a child in his native Zadar, a small coastal village which had been ravaged by war. Ten years on, and now almost 37 years old, the little Croatian genius is already a legend at the most successful club in the world. The proof of that is in the five Champions Leagues, four European Super Cups, four Club World Cups, three Leagues, four Spanish Super Cups and one Copa del Rey he has won during the past decade. No less than 21 titles in 439 games, not to mention the individual awards - the Ballon d’Or, The Best and the UEFA Player of the Year he received in 2018, sealed with 32 goals for the club and 74 assists. The Croatian accompanied AS to look back on that emotional moment in his life, ten years ago today, as he exclaimed: “Signing for Real Madrid has been one of the best decisions of my life. Playing here is a dream I don’t want to wake up from yet”.

Modric suffered a small ordeal to be able to fulfill that dream, given that Tottenham had promised him in the summer of 2011 that if he endured one more year they would let him go to Madrid in 2012. But when that time came, Daniel Levy, Spurs chairman, let himself off the hook by asking for an unreasonable fee and refusing point blank to sell him. Mourinho insisted as Modric was his express request while Luka refused to take part in the pre-season with the Londoners as the club had not kept its word with him. He worked alone until the deal was closed on August 27 for 30 million euros plus five in variables. A transfer bargain seen with the perspective of time.

Modric raises with Marcelo the 14.
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Modric raises with Marcelo the 14.JAVIER GANDULDiarioAS

“It has been a long process, but in the end I was able to come. I’m very happy. It is a great honor and fulls me with pride to come to the biggest club in the world. I want to start training and playing with this shirt now. I’m excited”. With these heartfelt and sincere words, he put on his first white shirt, with number 19 on the back. At that time, Mesut Özil had the No.10, but time put everyone in their place and finally the Croatian. in the summer of 2017, he took the number 10 after James left for Bayern Munich. Today it is one of the best-selling shirts in Real Madrid stores.

“I feel the affection of Real Madrid every day. That's why I try to return it in the field. The Bernabéu is very special for me”

Modric, en AS

After completing a highly successful decade, Modric reflected on the importance of what has been achieved and how, which is as important as achieving goals: “It has been ten seasons here, but I start each one as if it were the first. This year we have already won four titles and we have many challenges ahead of us”. In the locker room Luka is a heavyweight whose opinion counts as if he were the first captain, a role now occupied by Benzema, followed by Nacho. Immediately afterwards Luka features in the hierarchy of captains, escorted by Carvajal. At the club, he is highly valued for the decision he made 18 months ago, to renew for a single year and with a 10% salary cut due to the pandemic. That is why this season, after once again being a key player in the conquest of the 14 and 35 Leagues, Florentino renewed him until 2023 with a full sense of justice. And the best thing is that Modric is physically at his best and there is no expiry date. Playing the World Cup with Croatia does not make him contemplate the end of his adventure in the Spanish capital.

All of this leads Modric to have an added sense of gratitude for everything he has experienced in this decade: “I feel the love of Real Madrid every day. That’s why I try to return it out on the field. The Bernabéu is very special to me”. Luka Modric, genius and figure. Ten years in white stare back at him. A great signing who is already a legend.


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