Although Croatia are in the Russia 2018 Final largely because of their intelligent team play and determination, we take a close look at their captain and leader: Luka Modric…

His stats in Russia so far...

  • The 32-year-old has two goals and one assist in six matches
  • An average of 100 minutes per match, the most of any player
  • Covered 63km in the tournament, the most of any player. 
  • Budweiser Man of the Match three times

Modric has been the general and playmaker in Croatia’s unbeaten run to their first Final. His performances have many calling for him to win the adidas Golden Ball and even The Best FIFA Men's Player award.

What Modric does only Modric does. When the ball passes by his feet, the play flows as if football was the easiest thing in the world. It’s not about adding intensity or danger to the move; it’s about adding sense, clarity, intent.”

FIFA World Cup winner and commentator Jorge Valdano writing in The Guardian

An unlikely star because of his small size and a youth impacted by war in his homeland, Modric has risen through the club ranks and won many trophies with Real Madrid. 

Although he has been a regular for his national team since debuting in 2006, his impact at major international tournaments has been limited. Until now...

He is proving himself to be the best midfield player in the world

Croatia defender Dejan Lovren

After a perfect record in the group stage, Croatia’s knockout rounds have been tough: two penalty shootouts, an extra time win over England, and in all three matches they were behind only to fight their way back.

Many have worried about Croatia’s fitness, but Modric hit back at that after the England win, saying: "We dominated the game physically, mentally, in all aspects"

What am I going to tell my players right before the start of the Final? We’ll see. I have not thought about it. But I do not need to say anything to them. They know what kind of game it will be!

Luka Modric



Follow all of the action on's exclusive Live Blog for the Final and see if Luka Modric and Croatia can win their first FIFA World Cup...