Monday 10 September 2018, 09:38

Modric, in the words of others

  • Modric, Ronaldo and Salah are vying for The Best FIFA Men’s Player

  • delivers the magnifying remarks made about the Croatian

  • The likes of Zico, Jorge Valdano and Peter Schmeichel were in awe

"I don’t usually get too impressed with players because my benchmark is Zico at the 1982 World Cup and Diego Maradona four years later. So my bar is very, very high. But, goodness me, from half-time onwards, Modric wasn’t far from that level. He dictated the Champions League final for Real Madrid against Liverpool in Kiev. He’s practically peerless in terms of his ability to run, tackle and pass." Stan Collymore to the Mirror after Croatia’s defeat of England in the Russia 2018 semi-finals

"Modric is one of the few players in the world who can reconcile you with football. Modric is the Iniesta of eight years ago in South Africa – he dignifies football." Jorge Valdano speaking with Onda Cero

"I’ve said it before: Modric is almost on the same level as Zidane was. And Zidane was one of the best players of all time. They see things that we wouldn’t even see in slow motion." Casemiro to reporters after the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup UAE final

"It seems like both of them are from a different planet and they came to play football with us mortals here. Both of them are among the best players ever in their positions." Ivan Rakitic on Modric and Andres Iniesta during a press conference after the group stage at Russia 2018

"There are no parameters under which Luka does not deserve the title of the best [Croatian footballer] in history." Robert Prosinecki, who is considered by many to be Croatia’s greatest-ever player

"Just forget all that for just a minute about this Madrid team: what about Luka Modric’s performance today? Is he the best midfield player in the world right now? That performance today was stunning. He receives the ball in tight areas, he gets pressed by three or four people, he’s so calm, collected, cool under pressure. It was a joy to watch today." Steven Gerrard during BT Sport’s coverage of the UEFA Champions League final

"I think Modric deserves to win The Best. It would be really deserved. I would be as happy if he wins it as I would if they gave it to me." Sergio Ramos

"For me, the most important thing is the World Cup, so for this I think Modric had the best campaign. Modric was really good in the World Cup, but he was also really good in the Champions League and he dominated the final against Gremio. He’s a good passer, has a good touch, can strike the ball well and is gutsy. What sets him apart is his vision and his ability to get out of impossible situations with the ball." Zico speaking on his Youtube channel

"Luka Modric was so incredibly good in every department of how you have to judge a good player. What he did in the World Cup is just incredible. He was scoring goals, creating goals, fighting. He was just an incredible player in that period." Peter Schmeichel speaking with CNN

"Luka shows us that it's easy to play. Believe me, it's really, really hard to play football. To play in the World Cup it's even harder. And he plays like it's normal. It's like a dance for him." Kaka to Omnisport via adidas

"It has always frustrated me that Modric has been so underrated. It is only when he adds goals to his game – such as his sensational strike against Argentina – that the rest of his game gets the recognition it deserves. When your team are under the cosh, there is no better player to handle the pressure. Modric is always willing to receive the ball and will keep hold of it to take the sting out of the game. That is the mark of a brave player. He ran the show for Real Madrid against Liverpool and did so again to defeat Argentina. He is the best midfield player in the world." Jamie Redknapp writing in the Daily Mail

"The team plays under his [conductor’s] baton – nothing happens without going through Modric. For me he’s the great maestro of world football. He organises the team well, and Real are the champions with Modric as their No10. We needed a World Cup for everyone to appreciate Modric’s game." Walter Casagrande on Globo