Real Madrid: Comparing Luka Modric to anyone else is an insult

Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Ever since Luka Modric hit the age of 33 in the year 2018, which turned out to be the most successful calendar year in his career, some people started considering him as a finished player, irrespective of his performances on the field for Real Madrid and Croatia. While he is still at the top of his game at the age of 36, there are a lot of ignorant souls who’ve assumed that Modric has declined a lot, and have made statements that are somewhat similar to this:

"“I watched the Champions League semi-final recently. McGinn versus Modric? Honestly, I’m now McGinn, all day long. Modric’s of an age now where, see if you outrun him, it doesn’t matter how good you are.”Pat Nevin on Luka Modric, during the UEFA EURO 2020"

This is just a sample of the disrespect that has been shown to Luka Modric, through pointless comparisons that have been made all these years. I’ve always given a deaf ear to such ignorant statements, but I think we have reached a point where there shouldn’t be any such comparisons.

I have seen our rival fans create a protective hype around their generational midfield trio of Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets, saying that they are untouchable and a midfielder like Modric is nowhere close. I have seen a lot of Premier League pundits say how Modric has become old, and players like Kevin De Bruyne, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and many more Premier League players are better than Modric. I have seen Twitter pundits say how their players are “clear”. But now, it is time people stop and think twice before talking about Modric.

Luka Modric is in a league of his own, but people don’t treat him like that

When he has been praised for his longevity, I’ve seen some people counter this by saying Modric is a late bloomer and was average until he came to Real Madrid. But the man we’re talking about here isn’t somebody who was born with a silver spoon. A young Luka didn’t have the privilege of graduating through an academy of one of the best clubs in Europe, and instead, he had to endure tough times as a refugee in a war-torn country.

He couldn’t make his professional debut in a club where young players are always in limelight after a few performances. He had to work hard and wait a lot to get some recognition, climbing up one step at a time. He was always a fantastic player, and his presence in the team of the UEFA EURO 2008 is proof of that. It is just that the industrious Luka didn’t have that hype around him. He finally landed at the best club in Europe at the age of 26 after years of hard work, which has always been overlooked by people.

People say that Luka has had an easy ride at Real Madrid, where every player is a world-class player. But little do they know that he had to face a lot of challenges in his life, with one particular challenge being the tag of “The worst signing in LaLiga” that was given to him just months after arriving at his dream club. But boy, he did come out on top after an initial struggle and grew up to be the best midfielder in the whole of Europe.

People say that Luka Modric doesn’t have an international trophy as their favourite. How easily do they forget that Luka wasn’t born in a nation that is always a favourite in an international tournament? But still, he inspired his teammates and carried the hopes of 4 million people by leading his country to a World Cup final, dropping some masterclasses on the way to the final.

Luka never cared about recognition. He has always been a team player, who is loved by each and every teammate, and individual glory was never his target. Maybe this was the reason why he was seen as an underrated player until 2018. But surprisingly, he turned from an underrated player to an overrated player overnight, with one Ballon D’or award being the reason to draw the ire of a lot of footballing fans and pundits, who couldn’t digest the fact that their favourite couldn’t win one.

This award drew Modric so much hatred that Catalan journalists couldn’t stop themselves from criticising him for a short period of inconsistent performances. People started to wait for underwhelming performances from the Croat to take a dig at him, with the reaction to last year’s Champions League semifinal against Chelsea being the best example.

But the critics have always been in for a disappointment, with Modric leaving no scope for criticism, as he has been busy dropping 10/10 performances week in, week out. The latest masterclass against Athletic Bilbao, which he topped off with a wonderful goal, is only a testament to this man’s greatness. Some people are still surprised looking at Modric’slongevity and ability to produce magic at the age of 36, while Madridistas are relishing the brilliance of their beloved Lukita, with us feeling lucky enough that we are getting to witness this genius for the tenth season in a row.

And one definitely can’t resist themself from appreciating Modric’s work rate on the pitch, with him behaving like a box to box player at times and making people wonder if he’s really 36. One can also get an idea of his character by watching him play, with him fighting for every 50-50 on the pitch and being a team player who is in sync with every teammate on the pitch. It’s just the kind of person Luka is, lovable and hard-working.

It is time people keep their agenda aside and show some respect for this generational player who is simply the best at what he does. All these years people have looked for reasons to throw mud at Luka, but it is time they realise Modric’s greatness and accept the fact that he is unique and cannot be compared to anyone. Luka’s talent, longevity, work ethic, dedication, individual and collective success, adaptability and many more things just make him stand apart from everyone else. What else is needed to see a player who has achieved so much in his career as one of the greatest players ever?

Joe Cole has said on BT Sports last night that Luka Modric is a cross of both Andres Iniesta and Andrea Pirlo. Well, his intention was to praise Luka and also admitted that he is special, but it is better to avoid comparisons with anyone. And honestly, he’s very much different from both of them.

Modric is a footballing legend who has made his own path up to the top, and he is a unique player. I have a lot of respect for Iniesta and Pirlo, but I personally believe that Modric is slightly better than both of them and there shouldn’t be scope for any comparison. It’s high time people start respecting him and just put an end to all the comparisons that have been done all these years.

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To keep it short, Luka is a class above everyone in this generation and comparing him with anyone is an insult. There will never be another player like Luka Modric. And that’s a fact.