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2018: The Year Of Luka Modrić

January 2, 2019




No one on this planet had a better year in 2018 than Luka Modrić.



He helped Real Madrid win another Champions League title. He captained Croatia to the World Cup Final. He won every football award known to man.



So what now?



Without Ronaldo at Real Madrid this season, the Croatian midfield maestro will have his hands full in pursuit of another Champions League Final appearance. Manchester City, Liverpool, Barcelona and Juventus are all playing better ball at the moment and it will take a gargantuan effort to make a push in Europe with this current squad. At the same time, Real Madrid currently sit eight points behind leaders Barcelona in La Liga.



It’s more likely than not that Los Blancos will not lift a trophy in 2019.



But what will happen to Luka’s form?



At 33 years old, Modrić is no spring chicken. Luckily for Croatia, the Vatreni were given quite a generous Euro qualifying draw with Wales, Slovakia, Hungary and Azerbaijan.



Croatia should easily finish top-two in the group and automatically qualify for Euro 2020 where Modrić would be nearly 35 years old. How much is left in the tank? And what should we expect from Modrić in 2019?



The performance he put in the past year is untouchable. However, if Modrić can get help defensively – through a defensive midfielder behind him – he can become an Andrea Pirlo riding into the sunset of his career. Pirlo was able to dictate his midfield magnificently while keeping the mileage low during matches.



If Modrić can keep his running to a minimum, he will be able to go strong through Euro 2020. Maybe even the 2022 World Cup. Time and health will tell.



Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 20 comments

  1. Soul Champ says:

    @ Ante


    Cultivate all the young talent around Modrić and have them run their asses off for him.

    Toni Kroos has taken miles off Modrić at Madrid. Luka has had to cover for him for years.

    Luka looks fantastic to me at present.

    Madrid also realize that they need to save his legs for big CL matches.

    Llórente and company need to step up to provide young legs in the middle of the park.

    Solari is playing young legs and world class in form veterans only.

    Nearly 35 means he is still 34 in the summer of 2020.

    So he will be 34 and 36 and both of the next major tournaments.

    With our squad depth of talent, he will only be asked to bring the magic which never leaves you.

    I say play if your heart is in to it.

    Euro 2020 has to launch some next generation stars to fill his boots for World Cup 2022.

    His presence as a leader is a blessing for the younger players who can learn from his professional example.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s okay, we have so many other young options if Luka runs out of gas. Of course I would love it if Luka was still playing top notch football, but we have guys like Vlašić, Brekalo, Kovačić, Ćorić, etc. that may not exactly be able to “fill his shoes”, but those guys can play.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s okay, we have so many other young options if Luka runs out of gas. Of course I would love it if Luka was still playing top notch football, but we have guys like Vlašić, Brekalo, Kovačić, Ćorić, etc. that may not exactly be able to “fill his shoes”, but those guys can play

  4. The truth says:

    Saying Croatia will easily qualify for Euro 2020 is a huge misstatement. Right now my models are saying Croatia only has a 75 percent chance of finishing top two. That makes it the most likely scenario, but also makes missing quite possible

  5. The truth says:

    Just saying the truth. The idea that Croatia has a free ride is a farce. Rarely has Croatia made qualifying easy. And Wales, Slovakia, and hungry are no pushovers. And those teams will be hungry unlike Croatia

  6. zdravko mamic must be killed says:

    scum serb scat lover mamic, what a pathetiic pointless balkanoid nothing subhuman fart, a worm who enjoys serb scat in his mouth, somebody wipe that pointless scum off the planet already,

  7. BZ says:

    The younger crop are certainly talented, but that means nothing if they can’t hustle and lock it down defensively.

    Watching Luka get back on D in the 90th minute, and stump wingers was, and still is, a moment I cherish watching.

  8. Maminjo says:

    It’s actually kinda funny that Modric is getting pretty much ALL the credit for Croatia advancing to the World Cup finals.
    …when one can easily argue that Perisic, Mandzukic and Rakitic were all just as impactful as Modric in that tournament.

    If either one of Modric’s terrible penalty kicks against Denmark or Russia were saved, he probably does not get a few of these awards and is probably even found guilty of perjury, lol.

    Anyway, my point is, I don’t think we are so poor without Modric.

    The key will be how we can replace that foursome who dominated the wing, central midfield, AND up top.
    Modric was only just a piece of the puzzle. He was by no means some lone superstar who carried his team to the finals.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Truth Troll, few are questioning your assertion that it won’t be as easy as some think (almost everyone knows that). I’m questioning your use of “models”, and constant teolling you infantile douche.

  10. Poglavnik says:

    Well said Maminjo. Don’t forget Rebic and to just a bit of a lesser degree Vida Vrsaljko and Lovren.
    Best I’ve ever seen Rakitic and Modric coexist.
    Rakitic was really awesome at times.
    And Rebic put fear into people.
    We could’ve used that Rebic in ’16 against Portugal.

  11. Crnkovic says:

    Luka can be used as a player coach. I have seen this in other sports. My only question is can a player sub himself?

  12. The truth says:

    I think the real interesting question is if Croatia qualifies for the Olympics, which 3 senior players would you take?

    And would the players really want to play and advocate for a spot or be too wiped from euros and want a rest?

  13. Mixed grill says:

    Maminjo, indeed others played very well for us at the World Cup but whenever Modric had the ball I kept thinking and feeling he was in another class. When a player in another class shows up to play, that player will stand out and Modric really did, at least to me.

  14. Razbijač says:

    It’s true, whenever Modric had the ball at his feet, it was evident he was in another class. For me, he was the player that stood out the most…and was the one who helped make the other players better….

    The “Core Four” were vital: Modric, Perisic, Rakitic, and Mandzukic. Now if we can have another Core Four to build a team around at the next WC remains to be seen….will Brozovic, Rebic, Vlasic, and Kramaric be the ones??

  15. Anonymous says:

    “No one on this planet had a better year in 2018 than Luka Modrić.”

    Varane won the UCL and World Cup, I’d say that’s better.

    Individual awards mean shit when the people that voted this season wouldn’t know shit from clay.

    Modric for sure did well in the awards because most people that vote, because he plays for Real Madrid, see him as the reason why little Croatia did so well at the World Cup, it’s a rather simplistic way of looking at it, but it seems that’s the way the voters went about it.

    Does anyone here wanna say that Modric had more great games than Messi did last season, after all isn’t that what matters, or at least what should matter if the award is an individual award?

    What would be the degree of difficulty in getting Croatia to the World Cup final? Extra points for Modric perhaps because Croatia is small?

    Beating Argentina at the WC also would’ve given Modric extra points because Messi plays for the Argies, it shouldn’t, but it’s obvious it did influence the simple minded voters.

    At the end of the day Varane had the best season in what is a team game.
    As an individual, Messi had the best season, at least according to the people that know football.

    And that’s it.

  16. someguy says:

    I love how all the critics on this site think that they know more than people who actually know football…….Modric was a “bust” at one time, and some of his biggest critics who ACTUALLY (notice the intentional redundant emphasis) know football voted to give him all of these awards. He deserved each and every one. “More great games”……it’s about quality, not quantity. He performed well when it counted the most.

    Terrible penalty kicks? The end result is what counts. The ball crossed the line and hit the net.

    Oh, and to anonymous….in my not so humble opinion, if you post as anonymous multiple times because you’re afraid of being confronted….the technical term is……pussy.

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