A NUMBERS GAME
— Luka Modric picked up a total of 14 awards, citations and trophies in 2018, including a third consecutive Champions League winners’ medal and fourth overall, a place in the FIFA FIFPRO World XI and the 2018 Ballon d’Or, breaking the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo duopoly.
— Modric played 58 games for club and country in the 2017-18 season, including all 13 of Real Madrid’s victorious Champions League campaign and 15 appearances for Croatia as they qualified for Russia 2018 and reached the World Cup Final for the first time.
— 566 of Modric’s 636 Champions League passes were successful. That equates to an 89% pass completion ratio.
94 — Modric’s pass completion ratio for the final against Liverpool shot up to 94%. Only his Madrid teammate, Toni Kroos, put up better figures of players who started the match. Madrid went on to win 3-1.
— Modric played in seven games at the World Cup finals, captaining Croatia in every appearance and scoring twice, against Nigeria and Argentina.
— Modric covered a lung-busting 63km at the World Cup, the most of any player from any nation present in Russia. That includes 9km in the Final defeat to France alone.
— No player at the World Cup played more minutes than Modric’s 694, including extra time in the Round of 16 penalty shootout win over Denmark, the Quarter-Final shootout victory over hosts Russia and the Semi-Final triumph over England. Croatia came from behind in all three games.
— Modric is the first Croatian to win the Golden Ball for best player at the World Cup, the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, the Best FIFA Men’s Player award and the Ballon d’Or, doing so all in the same calendar year.
— 2007 was the last time a player other than Ronaldo or Messi topped the Ballon d’Or voting, when Kaka, then of Milan, was successful. Modric dedicated his victory to ‘all the players who probably deserved to win but didn’t.’
— Modric turned 33 in September and wants to play on for a few more seasons. “I have two years left [on his Madrid contract] and hopefully one more. The club shows me a lot of affection and I’d like to retire at Madrid. I want to keep enjoying this club,” he said.