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Ante Jukić Writes Wonderful Piece On Modrić Ballon d’Or Win

December 4, 2018




Good friend to – Ante Jukić – who is also a Europan football writer hailing from Australia, wrote a wonderful piece in the Optus this week following the announcement of Croatia’s Luka Modrić winning the Ballon d’Or. Jukić is a passionate Croatian football supporter who beautifully depicts Modric’s rise to soccer immortality on the field and through the eyes of other footballing greats.



Follow Ante Jukić on Twitter: @a_jukic



Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 34 comments

  1. Soul Champ says:

    @ Ante and Ante

    That is a wonderful article about the presence of Luka “ballon d’Or” Modrić on the ptich.

    Over the last 12 years I have learned more and more about the subtle beauty of the game through his play.

    This Balon D’or he has won honors all the similar genius of Iniesta, Xavi and the Pirlo’s of the world.

    It’s also mind blowing that he has actually been on this level for over 4 years.

    Whether it has been injuries of lifestyle or both .. no nogometaš has ever been on this level for so long.

    I pray all these young players see what it takes and all reach their own potential through Luka’s example.

    His Balon D’or represents a further liberation from our Jugo days in the respect that people felt that ‘98 was a product of the Jugo league (Šuker told me himself).

    Luka fought through our war of independence to become the Croatian King of World football.

    It’s no accident that he comes up aces in big matches.

    We have talked about this for years here at CSR.

    Folks would laugh when we compared him to Pirlo or Iniesta.

    They laughed when we said we can compete for major trophies.

    “No nogometaš would ever win the Balon D’Or.”

    Peasants .. po pizda.

    Croatian champions embody the best of who we are.

    Bog i Hrvati.

  2. vuki says:

    So I can’t remember who wanted me to post my college paper on the corruption in Croatian soccer, but it is done. I don’t think I could post a 10-12 page paper on here so I’m not sure how I would go about showing it to people.

  3. Medo says:

    The amount of vitriol Luka is receiving from the Messi and CR7 fan boys over these awards is comical.
    I’m rather certain these fan boys would get down on their knees in front of their wives and kids,and pleasure them if asked.
    One clown posts a Messi video of the few times he went around Luka in their head to head matches.
    Let’s just conveniently edit all the great plays that Luka has made to influence the outcome Real’s wins…forget the fact that Messi never gets burned because he never plays defense
    Give this hard working modest guy his due and move on from the petty jealousy.

  4. Elvis says:

    Ronaldo and Messi have a cult following. They are like princess Diana for some people. Fuck em ” A goat farmer refugee is the best player in the world.

  5. Turkey says:

    Hey Vuki I just finished reading your paper!. Are you from Turkey!? Because based on that writing, I’m not sure you’re literate in English

  6. Slavonac from Canada says:

    vuki… you said: “When it comes to the Croatian national team, as said before, it is believed that Mamic was the one pulling the strings”

    prior to Kovac, Cacic and then Dalic, Croatia had Otto Baric, Cico Kranjcar and then Slaven Bilic. Bilic was the least qualified based on coaching experience and yet he was better than the latter two that had a better resume. Dalic was initially mentioned as another Mamic guy and that message was constant leading up to the point we qualified…do you think we’d be reading about Dalic in a negative way if we were knocked out of the World Cup early….??? Yes, we would have been reading how another Mamic failure was put into a position…a guy with no relevant experience. I guarantee you that Hajduk fans were ready to pounce as they usually do….they hate the National Team and they hate Dinamo…period!

    “However, the main reason Mamic is so disliked in Croatia is for what he did to Dinamo Zagreb and some of the club’s former players. Mamic found a way to essentially steal money from the club and its players”

    Why should this negatively affect Hajduk or anyone else if the majority of players SUPPORT Mamic? The court case brought against Mamic did not stem from Dinamo…they never made a single formal complaint, your theory is flawed.

    The Eduardo story is just your opinion. He was past his prime, he could barely make any relevant team, he ended up in Brazil and bounced to a few teams…why are you suggesting he was better than he was at that point in his career?

    With regards to Halilovic…fast forward to today and he’s advanced backwards if anything. He was scolded and criticized in his last game with Milan…he would be a better example if he was a regular on a good team. Rog plays a different position and we needed coverage in his position…during our victory against Spain in 2016, he was probably one of the best 3 Croatian players on the field. Coric was a HUGE hype…many teams take young kids for experience.

    Your reference to Holiga may as well be written by a Crvena Zvezda fan, they are anti Croatia on everything. Also, Hajduk fans have organized several anti HNS on many occasions. They recently stated they didn’t congratulate Modric because he was not a Hajduk player and he wasn’t from Split…they were the only team in Croatia that didn’t support Croatia in the World Cup…maybe you can write a piece on that!?!?

    “A lot of people in Croatia have become alienated from the national team in recent years and…have lost faith in the Croatian Football Federation and have accused it of widespread corruption”

    A lot of Hajduk fans….the rest or at least a HUGE majority support them.

    The swastika incident happened in Split. Why didn’t they follow up and investigate…reveal what they knew? Its simple…they would have to give their own fans to the authorities and they won’t do that.

    Modric – “He would go on to tell the court that he did in fact sign a contract with Mamic and that Mamic put a clause into the contract, after he was sold to Tottenham, which would give Modric the right to fifty percent of the transfer fee, which Modric would then give to Mamic. This is Mamic essentially stealing money from Dinamo Zagreb and from Modric.”

    Neither Modric, nor Dinamo has filed any complaint. If any other team had a Mamic that was successful, they’d love him. Hajduk’s criminals stole from their club, why aren’t they on trial?

    Well written but written like a true Splicanin!

    you can’t be a fan when they win and be anti HNS when they lose…make a choice. some here suggested the players walk off the field during qualifying. others posted anti Modric articles on the eve of the World Cup Final and yet, claim they love the country and team…thats hypocrisy!

  7. Anonymous says:


    If you read Vuki’s paper you dickhead shouldn’t you be sure if he’s literate or not? But you’re not sure lol!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ante Jukic said that “team results play a part, as noted in France Footballs criteria for the award.”

    He also asked,

    “Ultimately, the question must be asked: would Modric’s currently peerless mastery of space and time in football be considered for the Ballon d’Or if this was not a World Cup year?”

    Clearly the answer is NO.

    I didn’t even know for sure that team results were a part of the criteria for the Balon d’Or, it just seemed to me that it had to be because there’s no way that I will believe that Modric’s 44 games this past season were better than Messi’s 48 games.

    Like I said in my comment on the previous post, Modric played in 11 games in the UCL and 7 at the WC, that’s 18 games, of those 18 games not all of ‘em were great. That leaves 26 games in La liga were Real were pretty poor and Modric had 1 goal and 6 assists, while Messi scored 34 goals and Barca beat Real by a huge 17pts to win the league.

    But, The NT coaches and captains along with journos voted like they always do, and they voted Modric, that’s their choice.

    My opinion is, that if this was to be a purely individual award, then Messi wins, but we now know it’s not.

  9. The Real Deal says:

    @Slavonac from Canada

    You wrote that same comment what was it, 3 times during the WC?
    Good that you wrote again though because @Vukovar must o’ missed it.

    I don’t give a shit about corruption in the HNS, I just watch football, but, do you think it’s possible for someone to be anti corruption in the HNS and hope that it doesn’t adversely affect his team, because he wants his team to do well regardless?
    I believe it is.

    I also believe that you don’t have a right to enjoy this great WC run more than anyone else because you’re pro corruption in the HNS.

  10. Maminjo says:

    Slavonac isn’t pro corruption. He’s anti-fake news like most Croatia fans.

    There is definitely a conflict of interest going on with Mamic and Dinamo…but you have to be naive to think that Football is THAT clean of a sport that there are no conflicts of interest elsewhere.

    There are scandals way bigger than this within FIFA, UEFA, Serie A, Bundesliga and even the straight edge Belgians are going through it with their league right now.

    If you’re anti- corruption, by all means you have the right to voice your opinion, protest, and pressure the courts to do their job (assuming there are even any formal complaints)…but to try and destroy your own national team and smear your country’s image with swastika symbols is absolutely disgusting.

    Are you an NBA fan?
    Why don’t you go to the Lakers arena and spraypaint a Confederate Flag at center court to protest LeBron James owning Klutch agency and influencing the teams he plays on to sign his players to inflated contracts?

  11. Maminjo says:

    I’m a Hajduk fan, and I am ashamed of what Hajdukovci are doing.

    There is still a small (but sizable enough) Orjun community in Dalmacija that is causing this. Hajduk fans are just so die-hard Hajduk, that they will believe any sort of boogeyman story that will justify why Hajduk is so bad (so long as Hajduk is not at fault). The simple fact is, Hajduk is just terribly mismanaged.

    Money and Sports Agencies aside…Hajduk has simply let go of TONS of high level talent.

    Modric, Perisic, Prso, Jelavic, Lakic…are just a few names of players (off the top of my head) who couldn’t even make the cut for Hajduk. These are guys that Hajduk could have cashed out significantly on, but they missed the mark completely in assessing the talent. On top of this, there are tons and tons of promising guys who they have no idea how to develop, so they either sell them the first chance they get (i.e. Radosevic, Balic)…or keep them and the player just stagnates (i.e. Fran Tudor). We can’t even really measure how many talented players they have botched in their development.

    People need to get fired at Hajduk. The new guys need to figure out what it is that Dinamo is doing to foster this kind of growth.

    You have all these Dalmatinci and Bosanci flocking to Dinamo now, and it has nothing to do with Mamic’s agency (as contracts can be voided by players once they hit 18).
    It used to be blasphemy for kids from Dalmacija and BiH to play for Hajduk, but they’re all going there (muslimani too). Shit, you even got a kid from Spain’s junior National Team jumping Barcelona’s ship to join Dinamo.

    Dinamo sucked terribly 15 years ago, and were still pretty mediocre about 7 or 8 years ago..but they’ve been getting better and better every passing year, and it’s all because of their farm system and ensuring they have talented people managing these kids. It also helps that they are poaching players from Vienna’s, Barcelona’s, Liverpool’s youth teams and also becoming a regional hub for talented players in smaller nearby countries like Bosna and Albania who cannot get exposure in their leagues.

    Yes, Mamic is definitely trying to cash in by running a sports agency while being the sports director for the club…but the issue with Hajduk has nothing to do with this.

  12. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Thanks Maminjo…and you’re right, as much as I’d like to keep loving the club they once were, Hajduk today are a fraction of what they once were. I didn’t stop cheering for the players, I’m done with the overall culttof their hard core fan base.

    Hajduk was once a team to love and be proud of. All one had to do was go to one game at Poljud to see how incredible that atmosphere was…it was something special! Today, fans attack players, the ref, the coaching staff…it’s an unhealthy environment that’s run by thugs! Those thugs are exactly like a portion of the BBB criminals that give a bad name to the good ones.

    Real Deal! I’m anti those that want to fuck the Croatian National team. The guys that go after Modric but won’t demand the same for the many corrupt Hajduk members that stole from their club! I’m anti flares, I oppose idiots that sabotage our country and those that smear everyone and everything that they don’t like because it may be somehow related to Dinamo or Mamic!

    I became a fan of Rudes, I love Rijeka and Osijek, I want RNK Split to get back on track, I’d love nothing more than to see someone else challenge Dinamo…I’m proud of Dinamo for their Euro League start.

    I live the game…far too many here in the forum and across pockets of dalmacija have hijacked Croatian soccer for their own personal interest!

  13. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I’ll never ever forget seeing this in Split:

    “Sve izgubili dabogda”!!

    Imagine feeling that way and then being a supporter at the welcome home party!

  14. Pave says:

    Slavonac with the same dosadno govno against Hajduk. You’re just like that jilted lover from the movie “Fatal Attraction” when it comes to Hajduk and it’s fans.

    You want us to be a part of a greater Croatian family plan – You want us to be a good second fiddle – but, not too good – and just ignore the fact that everything has been tilted the past 15 years to make sure Mamic and his goons came out on top.

    Play the role for Dinamo – finish second, keep our mouths shut and then congratulate.

    Budala. We have our own problems like every other club, but to produce the results and players that we have under “heavy sanctions” is nothing short of a miracle.

    Huge credit to Hajduk fans for their incredible support – akin to going to those fake, fixed, WWE matches hoping your guy wins even though the script has already been written and practiced.

  15. Prasichino says:

    But problems with Croatian football don’t stop here. Couple of years ago Croatian FA vice president and the head of the referee organization were arrested after they tried to extort money from Hajduk for “honest refereeing”. Modus operandi was that for several weeks in a row Hajduk would get bad refereeing, Hajduk complained and they got the pay us and you’ll have good refereeing. Hajduk president went to the police and spent the next couple of months wearing a wire and recording evidence. They were caught red handed and eventually were both found guilty and sentenced to jail time. You would think that Hrvoje Males (the Hajduk president) would be a hero, right? Nope. He was ran out of football. He’s a persona non grata. Immediately after the whole thing happened, Mamic gave media a statement in which he called Males crazy and told him to remember what happens to rats. He’s been out of football for 2 years, he still has to walk around with bodyguards protecting him and his family. Meanwhile those two Siric and Djedovic are still honored guests on Croatian stadiums and are welcome to the VIP lodge on Croatian NT games. HNS didn’t do shit to clean up its ranks after the whole affair.

    Did I mention that the FA president elections in which Mamic showed his muscle and confirmed what most people already knew, that he was the true ruler of Croatian football, were very chaotic, ended up with the losing candidate Igor Stimac suing Mamic and the courts ruling in favor of Stimac. But Mamic soon pacified Stimac by offering him NT coaching position and the whole thing eventually died.

    Of course all of this doesn’t sit well with the fans. Dinamo fans have been battling Mamic for years now. Hajduk fans have been battling HNS for even longer. So oppressions happened. Black lists forbidding fans from entering grounds merely for the reason of being against Mamic and against HNS. Later there appeared a faction of BBB who are pro Mamic (anti Mamic guys say they’re mercenaries). There have been clashes between the two factions and they escalated on several occasions. Couple of weeks ago there was a shooting in which one of the guys from pro Mamic factions shoot at anti Mamic guys. Anti Mamic guys claim Mamic is behind the shooting and that he armed and is protecting the guys who did the shooting. There was also a case form European macth this summer in Estonia or something like that where some Dinamo fans were arrested carrying hatchets, the word on the street is that again it was because pro Mamic guys wanted to deal with anti Mamic guys. Of course all of these about clashes are he says she says, and God only knows what the truth is, but I feel its worth noting merely to get an impression of the overall atmosphere in and around Dinamo and Croatian football.

    So how do Dinamo fans fight Mamic? Well Dinamo is an people’s association (don’t know what the correct word would be. Think socios model from say Barca). Problem is that all people within Dinamo are Mamic people and they elect themselves internally. Fans are protesting for the elections which according to the Croatian law , they as a people’s association, should give. Even government organizations conducted investigations and found that Dinamo is operating against Croatian law and that they MUST call elections. Dinamo doesn’t give a fuck, HNS won’t do anything and the government can’t intervene because if they do, HNS sides with Dinamo and plays the politics interferring in sport, UEFA come help us card. UEFA says political interferance bad, mkay, we’ll kick you out of Euro/WC if you do that, and government backs away.

    That same status as a people’s organization also gives Dinamo some benefits. One of the benefits is that they don’t have to pay taxes on their profit. One of the benefits is that because they are owned by the state, they get funding from the city budget. US taxpayers pay for their staduim, we pay for their youth academy. Over the last 10 years Dinamo got more then 240+ million kunas of taxpayers’ money. However when presented with questions such as the ones about costs of stadium renovation(new seats and shit), Mamics’ response is (and this is a quote) “What does anyone give a fuck about how much I paid for a chair”.

    So the legal methods don’t have any real effect, or they provide temporary victories, which in the long run change nothing. Why? Because Mamic isn’t stupid. He surrounded himself with lawyers. He arrived in Dinamo in early 2000. Dinamo was in a bad shape then, tons of debts. Mamics’ lawyers found holes within laws which allowed them to declare bankrupcy, whilst transferring the status as the first division team, and all players and trophies and shit from the bankrupt club to the newly formed club which was opened as a people’s association. What that did effectively was left all debts on the old club. Players sued, but in the eyes of the law they never played for this Dinamo, but for the old Dinamo and they had no rights asking this Dinamo to pay the debts that old Dinamo had towards them. Among the players who got screwed over are some real legends of Dinamo and Croatian football. Robert Prosinecki was screwed out of almost a million euro. Even Croatia as a country got screwed because old Dinamo had like 300 million kunas in tax debt which were never paid.

    I’m gonna stop because I could go on and on and on about this. Besides I suspect I already wrote a handful and more than anyone will bother to read.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Officialy, or I should say “on paper”, Dinamo Zg is set up like a Socios club. But only the selected few get to vote (it’s a bit more complicated than that, but in the end – that’s what happens).

    This way they get to be financed by the city in many ways, and Mamic’s political ties enable him and the politicians getting rich from public funds.

  17. Maminjo says:

    Also, if Modrić is a crook… Then Srna is 10 times the crook for stealing cash from Hajduk with both Štimac and Pletikosa during that under-the-table transfer to Shaktar.

    If you’re going to be noble and fight the fight, you can’t be biased.

  18. vuki says:

    Actually, my direct family is not from Split. I have an Uncle from Split and that is it. My family is from Karlovac and Osijek. I’m not a Hajduk fan nor a Dinamo fan. I’m a Croatian fan. I support all Croatian players. I just enjoy Croatian football in general. There is no denying that our federation has been corrupt for years. I just wrote a paper about something I’m passionate about since I was given the opportunity to choose pretty much whatever. I don’t think only Dinamo has these problems in Croatia. Nor do I think only Croatia has these problems. It is just the most publicized version making the information readily available with simple google searches. Yes, the paper is quite biased, I’m aware of that. I tried to make it more speculative rather than constantly accusing, but admittedly I left the paper until the last minute. I am not at all against the national team. I’m not one of those people who just blames the HNS when we lose. If you go back to any of my previous posts, none of them involve the HNS, they all have to do with players. Any time someone asks me who my favorite soccer team is, I say I don’t really have a favorite club team, Croatia is my favorite team no matter what. I respect your criticism and genuinely enjoy reading your posts at times because you seem quite knowledgeable about the topics you comment about. I absolutely agree that some the events were done by mostly Hajduk ‘fans’ and genuinely meant to mention something about them but I had to rush it a bit. That is why I said it is not my best work. With regards to Halilovic making the Euros squad, it was just a recent example that I could think of, and I know most people on here were quite upset that he was not chosen after his stellar season. Yes, he has since been a flop, but he clearly deserved the call over Coric. Eduardo playing against Brazil was true in my opinion. I did not say he should have started, but with being down late in the game. I would have brought him on before someone like Ante Rebic who at the time did not even get playing time at all at club level. Also, I just checked and they even had a 3rd sub still available so why not bring on your other striker to try to get at least a goal back? When it comes to Modric and Mamic. Would you want someone who advanced your career to go to jail? There is no denying that Mamic helped some of our best players’ careers take off, but in my opinion, the way he did it was simply not right. Again, I respect what you had to say and do enjoy reading your comments even when I don’t agree.

    I’m not sure if any of the comments were directed at me, but I am very pro-Modric. Modric has been my favorite player ever since he broke into the national team. There is no one on here that is more happy that Modric won the Ballon d’Or than I am. My friends get tired of hearing me talk about the Croatian national team to the point where they make fun of me about it. I don’t care, I just love watching the national team play.

  19. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Pave…you keep asking me what I want? Look dummy, nobody has stopped Hajduk from progressing…you tend to think I have a day in how they do?

    A jesi obican stoka!

  20. The Real Deal says:

    @Slavonac from Canada

    “Why should this negatively affect Hajduk or anyone else if the majority of players SUPPORT Mamic?”

    It shouldn’t affect Hajduk or anyone else, and by the looks of things it doesn’t affect Kvartuc and Zoric in their support of the NT.

    It was Kvartuc that suggested the players walk off the pitch at HT against Ukraine because like all homers and fanboys his team was performing poorly at the time, so if you’re a homer/fanboy looking for answers who ya gonna blame? Not the players, but luckily for homers/fanboys we have one Zdravko Mamic that we can blame everything on.

    So the homer/fanboy thinks the players are performing poorly because of Mamic, if that’s the case, why not walk off the pitch at HT in protest of Mamic, it woulda been some “short term pain for long term gain” which is what Ziva used to spruik on this site all the time lol!

    I have a prodigious memory and remember Ante K after the Ukraine win asking the question “was it Cacic’s fault all along?”
    That was his way of acknowledging that he was way off the mark with his “walk off the pitch” suggestion and that he didn’t know what he was talking about, that’s good enough for me, I don’t feel the need to rub salt into his wounds.

  21. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Real Deal, I’m pissed that these guys have turned on the support now but we’re ready to burn Modric leading up to the finals. Their plan failed and now they have to pretend to support…until the next episode.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Am I the only one that thinks this Dinamo vs Hajduk rivalry being played out among the diaspora is cringeworthy?
    Lol even among Croats living in Croatia the Dinamo vs Hajduk rivalry seems like nothing but contrived crap, the whole fucking rivalry is forced by the the stupid supporter groups in imitation of some real rivalries in world football, for example, Celtic (Catholic) vs Rangers (Protestant) that’s a rivalry.
    Boca vs River is a class rivalry etc.

    Dinamo vs Hajduk lol, the shit was never a rivalry in Yugoslavia, like I said, nothing but contrived crap.

    Even funnier, Croatia had to become an “independant” nation for Dinamo vs Hajduk to become a fierce rivalry, this shit can only happen with Croatian people.

  23. The Real Deal says:

    @Slavonac from Canada

    “Today, fans attack players, the ref, the coaching staff…it’s an unhealthy environment that’s run by thugs! Those thugs are exactly like a portion of the BBB criminals that give a bad name to the good ones.”

    I don’t think that Kvartuc and Zoric are like those thugs though, they’re just homers, in fact with my prodigious memory, I clearly recall homer Kvartuc saying that those fans that threw flares onto the ground against the Czechs were wrong with the way they went about protesting corruption in Croatian football, he thought it was something we could all agree on, and I believe it is, at least it should be something we can all agree on.

    Homer Zoric, that guy says he’s a huge Modric fan.
    Zoric of all people should know that Hajduk wanted no part of the diminutive Modric, and if not for the the unscrupulous Zdravko Mamic (according to the civil law lol) who saw in Luka an opportunity to make some lucre, he would have no Modric to be a fanboy of, so he really shouldn’t give a shit about Mamic and Modric’s dealings with the lucre made from Luka’s transfer to Tottenham, because it was all a part of getting Modric to were he is now, and he might not like it, but he should learn to live with it, and it seems to me that he is living with it because he’s a Modric fan.

  24. The Tax Man says:


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