Luka Modrić and Real Madrid concluded their 3-match North American preseason tour Saturday night in Los Angeles with a 2-0 victory over Juventus. Modrić played a solid 60 minutes in what looked like a low-energy/conservative performance before the season kicks off.
Modrić had to decline an interview with CroatianSports as the Real Madrid media relations team did not allow any of their players to talk to the press. However, Modrić did stop by to say hello and explain the situation, as CroatianSports.com was the only Croatian media outlet covering the match at the Rose Bowl.
CroatianSports: Hey Luka! Thanks for coming over. Can we ask you a few questions?
Modrić: Sorry guys. I can’t do questions tonight. We’re headed straight to the airport right now. But see you in Qatar, right?
CroatianSports: We won’t be in Qatar, unfortunately. But see you back in the States in four years for the 2026 World Cup???
Modrić: (with a sly grin on his face)
Why am I sharing this short, yet incredibly important interaction with you? Because it transcends everything “Modern Football” has become in the 21st century. Super teams are composed of super players living the rockstar lifestyle. Players like Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe, Lewandowski, Benzema, to name a few, don’t have to talk to reporters. They simply don’t. They speak with their play on the field. And Luka Modrić is no exception. But he is also 100% part of the football fraternity just named. Modrić has become a football living legend at Real Madrid: winning five Champions League titles in 10 seasons to go along three La Liga crowns, a Croatian World Cup Finals appearance and the 2018 Ballon d’Or. His accolades precede him and the entire footballing world has acknowledged that he will go down in history as one of the greatest players to ever step on the field.
So what did Modrić do that was so special Saturday night in Los Angeles? He simply came over to acknowledge his fellow Croatians.
With dozens of international media outlets waiting outside the locker room to talk to Real Madrid’s international stars, everyone got stood up. Karim Benzema and Camavinga did not talk to the French press. Casemiro and Vinicius didn’t make time for the Brazilian press. No one talked to Spanish, Mexican, or American media outlets. Absolutely no one. But Modrić came over for a few minutes to talk to CroatianSports (against Real Madrid wishes). In a nutshell, that’s what makes Croatian people so special. No matter where you are in the world, another Croatian will always make time to talk to you. Even if it’s Luka Modrić with Real Madrid about to hop on a 11-hour flight back to Spain.
Even when Modrić doesn’t have time, he makes time for his Croatians. Pure class.