Men's Player of the Year nominee: the case for Modrić
Luka Modrić – voted best player at this summer’s FIFA World Cup – is on the three-man shortlist for the 2017/18 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.
Season in numbers
Honours: UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, FIFA World Cup runner-up
UEFA Champions League
Modrić also won the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball for his performances in helping Croatia finish as runners-up at this summer’s tournament in Russia.
UEFA.com reporter’s view: Joe Walker, Madrid
The dynamic Modrić has been a key man for Madrid in their three consecutive UEFA Champions League triumphs, though his contributions have sometimes flown under the radar. The 32-year-old links midfield and attack with his pinpoint passing, low centre of gravity and eye for the spectacular, the phrase “through the eye of a needle” so often being applied to his through balls. His technique and comfort in possession make him a joy to watch – and his understated, yet indispensable, role in a team of superstars make him a worthy contender.
Top three moments
1. While not a prolific goalscorer, he demonstrated his shooting prowess with a stunning effort against APOEL in the group stage.
2. The manner in which his composure and ability on the ball helped Madrid dominate May’s final against Liverpool.
3. Captaining a country of Croatia’s size to the World Cup final is no mean feat, and Modrić did so with style and panache – deservedly being named Golden Ball winner.
What they say
“He is a player who has a very different talent, he improves anyone who is around him. It shows when he is not on the field – Madrid are a different team without Luka.”
Croatia team-mate Ivan Rakitić
“He has three Champions League titles and in all three seasons he was one of Madrid’s most important players. Even if we leave trophies aside, the way he plays and the way he dominates for Real Madrid is impressive.”
Former Madrid and Croatia midfielder Robert Prosinečki
“It’s not easy to stop Modrić because he’s such a clever player – he can read the game so well and can play in many different areas. Unless you have one man chasing him around, which is not so easy, I think it’s difficult to control Modrić.”
Former Madrid manager José Mourinho
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