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Winning is my Only Objective, Experts Decide Who’s the Best: Modric

Modric, who was also won the Golden Ball earlier in the year at the FIFA World Cup, is not getting carried away despite having a fantastic year so far. Modric was part of the Real Madrid side that won a hat-trick of Champions League titles before he skippered his Croatia to the World Cup final where they were beaten by France.

News18 Sports

Updated:October 16, 2018, 6:45 PM IST
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Winning is my Only Objective, Experts Decide Who’s the Best: Modric
Luka Modric. (Image: Reuters)
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Less than a month ago, Croatian captain Luka Modric saw off competition from former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah to win FIFA’s The Best award in London, and now is among the favourites to take home the prestigious Ballon d’Or in December – an award that has been shared between Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the past decade.

Modric, who was also won the Golden Ball earlier in the year at the FIFA World Cup, is not getting carried away despite having a fantastic year so far. Modric was part of the Real Madrid side that won a hat-trick of Champions League titles before he skippered his Croatia to the World Cup final where they were beaten by France.

"Truth be told, I don't like that way of talking and saying: 'Yes, it's me who deserves the Ballon d'Or'," Modric told France Football. "The important thing for me is to be on the pitch as I have been for months now.

"This year, 2018, has undoubtedly been the best of my career and my only objective is to keep going on this path, on this trajectory. You're not going to get me to say: 'It's me who should win it.' That is up to the experts who vote. It's in their hands."

The 33-year-old Croat is among thirty nominees including Ronaldo, Messi, Griezmann, Neymar, Gareth Bale and Paul Pogba and the winner will be named on December 3rd in Paris.

Modric may be the favourite to win the Ballon d'Or, but another nominee, the teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe, is the expected to claim the inaugural Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best Under-21 player.

Even though Mbappe was crucial in breaking Modric’s dream in Russia, the Croatian remains a fan of the highly rated Paris Saint-Germain forward.

"Mbappe is an extraordinary talent, a magnificent promise for the future," Modric said. "But someone who is already at a great level.

"He's really very special. I remember my international teammate, Danijel Subasic, said to me one day: 'There's a young player at Monaco, you'll see, he's incredible, and one day he'll be one of the best in the world.'

"He was talking to me about Mbappe before he was known about. I'm sure Kylian is going to keep improving."

The Madrid man, also said that those in the dressing room at the Santiago Bernabeu were shocked to hear that Ronaldo and coach Zinedine Zidane were leaving. The Portuguese captain moved to Juventus in the summer transfer window, while Zidane who is rumored to be headed to Manchester United is yet to take up another coaching role.

"I didn't expect it for either of them [to leave]," Modric told France Football. "I didn't think Zidane was going to leave, same thing for Ronaldo.

"Actually, when the rumor about Cristiano came out, we made bets between us in the dressing room and we were convinced that he would stay in the end. But everyone makes their own choices in life."

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| Edited by: Arjit Dabas
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