The Luka Modric story: from refugee to football wizard

The Croatian will make his 200th appearance for Real Madrid tonight against Betis. Born in Zadar, former Yugoslavia, his family were forced to flee the war of Independence.

Luka Modric will make his 200th appearance for Real Madrid in official competition when Betis take on Zidane team at the Bernabéu this evening.

Luka Modric, a refugee during the Croatian war of Independence

It's been quite a journey for the midfielder, who as a child was forced to flee his home town of Zadar in the former Yugoslavia, with his family living in numerous hostals during the war of Independence in the early 90s.

Modric joins Spurs

After the war, Modric's family moved back to Zadar and Luka, aged 16, joined Dinamo Zagreb who loaned him out to HŠK Zrinjski Mostar. He triumphed on his return to Dinamo Zagreb, and bid farewell in style, signing off with a stunning strike against Hajduk Split before moving to London to sign for Tottenham. He spent four seasons at White Hart Lane, becoming a club icon and impressing José Mourinho who brought him to Madrid after long, drawn-out negotiations over the summer of 2012. 

Modric, adored by Madrid fans

Today, Modric is one of the most-loved players with Madrid fans although he admits that he struggled to find his form at first. His 199 appearances include 130 games in LaLiga, 46 in the Champions League, 16 in the Copa del Rey, three in the Spanish Supercup, two in the Club World Cup and two in the UEFA Super Cup.



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