Luka Modric might end the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo hegemony if Croatia lifts the World Cup on Sunday and wins their first ever international trophy.
There’s a reason why he is widely regarded to be the best midfielder on the planet. Modric by himself encouraged his teammates to pass England to reach Croatia’s first World Cup final in their history.
Luka Modric Can Earn the Ballon d’Or If Croatia Wins the World Cup
But Modric is more than a motivator. His intelligence makes him a valuable piece for any team he has played for.
Modric is a unique playmaker. Against England, he showed why he deserved the Ballon d’Or, thus finally ending of Messi and Ronaldo’s supremacy over the last decade.
Modric knew exactly what to do when his country needed him most in the semifinals. He retained the ball, created chances, made key passes and completely dominated the midfield in the second half and extra time.
England’s center of the pitch was slowing down while the game was developing. Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli, Ashley Young, and Kieran Trippier looked shocked as Modric took total control of the midfield.
It’s not only his playmaking ability. Modric’s outstanding defensive effort put him above in the list of the greatest players in this year’s World Cup.
The few times Modric lost the ball against England he recovered the possession and tackled. Indeed, the defense has always been a strength of the 32-year-old footballer.
Modric alongside his teammates makes the Balkan country’s dream that much closer to reality. And Modric could drive the path to the glory.
Top the World
Modric is not only having a great World Cup run. In fact, he has been by far one of the best players in the tournament.
However, his season with Real Madrid showed the peak of his career. The Spanish club won its third consecutive UEFA Champions League title with Modric guiding from the midfield.
That’s why it won’t be a surprise if he is among the three candidates to win the 2018 Ballon d’Or.
Dethrone a Monarchy
Modric can become the first player not named Messi or Ronaldo who receive the Ballon d’Or award since the Brazilian Kaká did so in 2007.
Since then, it seems almost impossible that Messi or Ronaldo stop their dominance.
Even so, Modric has all the arguments to establish himself as the world’s new best player. He is only one game away from reaching the unthinkable.
All 45 of Messi’s goals this European season and Ronaldo’s 15 in Champions League play will undoubtedly be eclipsed by Modric’s accomplishments if Croatia pulls this off on Sunday.
Modric could also become the first Croatian-born player to win the Ballon d’Or.
Croatia is not done yet, and surely, Modric is not too. There’s still one more game.
The Croatian captain will have a tough battle in the final against French midfielders N’Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba.
Modric together with Ivan Rakitic has to perform at their best to put Croatia among the team that has lifted the World Cup title.
This will be the ultimate challenge for Modric to earn the Ballon d’Or.
France and Croatia will face off on Sunday, July 15, at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, at 11:00 a.m. ET.