The Best FIFA Football Awards™

The Best FIFA Football Awards™

Monday 23 September 2019, Milan

The Best FIFA Football Awards

Modric’s epic year in numbers

Croatia Portraits - Luka Modric
© Getty Images
  • All the stats on an amazing year for Modric
  • A marathon man at Russia 2018
  • A master passer and the epitome of fair play

Unlike Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah, his two rivals for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, Luka Modric has been not racking up the goals and assists over the last few months. The Croatian is not the type of player to drive statisticians wild, preferring to play a more understated game that is every bit as essential nonetheless.

His tactical genius, precision passing and superb build-up play are qualities that are often overlooked when it comes to assessing statistics, an injustice that has attempted to make up for by revealing the most notable figures generated by his outstanding performances at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, where he led his country to the Final, and during the club season with Real Madrid.

A Russian marathon


the number of goals scored by Modric in his seven matches in Russia, as many as he managed for Real Madrid in all competitions in the 2017/18 season. Four of his ten goal attempts at the last world finals were on target, which meant his shot success rate was 50%


Russia 2018 saw Modric become the seventh player to win the adidas Golden Ball without lifting the FIFA World Cup Trophy, since the creation of the award at Spain 1982. He joins Salvatore Schillaci (1990), Ronaldo (1998), Oliver Kahn (2002), Zinedine Zidane (2006), Diego Forlan (2010) and Lionel Messi (2014). Only Paolo Rossi (1982), Diego Maradona (1986) and Romario (1994) have picked up the award as World Cup winners. 

Luka Modric of Croatia poses with his Golden Ball award, alongside Kylian Mbappe of France who poses with his Best Young Player award
© Getty Images

the number of consecutive World Cup matches in which Modric has not received a yellow card. The Croatia playmaker, who avoided a caution in the five appearances he made at Germany 2006 and Brazil 2014, also kept out of trouble in his seven matches at Russia 2018, where he committed 12 fouls in all and was also fouled 12 times


72.307 - the number of kilometres Modric ran at Russia 2018. Only team-mates Ivan Perisic (72.543) and Ivan Rakitic (72.525) covered more ground at the tournament. 


in the quarter-final tie against Russia, Modric became the first Croatia player to attempt 100 passes or more in a World Cup match (102, of which 89 were completed).


the number of passes attempted by Modric in Russia, 439 of which found a team-mate, a completion rate of 87.2%.


the number of minutes Modric spent on the pitch at Russia 2019, more than any other player in the competition. Next on the list are England defensive duo Harry Maguire and John Stones, who both clocked 49 minutes less than the Croatian. The only matches in which he spent any time off the pitch in the seven his country played were the group game against Iceland – with Croatia having already secured their place in the last 16 – and the semi-final win over England, when he came off with a minute of extra time remaining and his side leading 2-1.

A regal year with Real Madrid


the number of FIFA Club World Cups the Croatian has won with his Spanish club, in 2014, 2016 and 2017. He collected the adidas Golden Ball in the first of those competitions and the adidas Silver Ball the following year. Modric is set to make his fourth Club World Cup appearance in December. 

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, Luka Modric of Real Madrid and Jonathan Urretaviscaya of CF Pachuca pose
© Getty Images

the number of occasions on which Modric has been voted Croatia’s player of the year, a record he shares with Davor Suker and which seems sure to be his alone by the end of 2018.


the number of interceptions made by the Madrid man during the 2017/18 season, 12 more than De Bruyne, his closest challenger in the category in Europe’s top five leagues. 


Modric’s pass completion rate for his club last season, in all competitions, ahead of David Silva (89), Paul Pogba (85) and Kevin De Bruyne (83). The only player in Europe’s top five leagues to better him was team-mate Toni Kroos (93). 

Recommended Stories

Luka Modric celebrates during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.


Modric, in the words of others

10 Sep 2018

Luka Modric of Croatia applauds fans after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final 

Russia 2018

Modric: Croatia can be proud

15 Jul 2018

Oliver Kahn looks on

The Best FIFA Football Awards

Kahn: Modric is the favourite for me

17 Sep 2018