Real Madrid Legend Marcelo Defends Luka Modric’s 2018 Ballon d’Or Win

Real Madrid Legend Marcelo Defends Luka Modric’s 2018 Ballon d’Or Win

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
  • Luka Modric had a memorable 2018
  • He led Croatia to the World Cup finals and won a third straight Champions League title with Real Madrid
  • Marcelo has defended the Ballon d'Or he won in 2018

Luka Modric beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann to win the 2018 Ballon d'Or award.

His former Real Madrid teammate Marcelo has sent a message to people who felt the Croatian didn't deserve it.

The midfielder turned 38 a few months ago and has started slowly this season with the Los Blancos.

Luka Modric, Marcelo, Real Madrid, 2018 Ballon d'Or, Croatia, Cristiano Ronaldo
Luka Modric has seen his role reduced at Real Madrid this season. Photos by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates and Mattia Ozbot.
Source: Getty Images

Modric had a historic 2018. That year, he helped Real Madrid win the Champions League for the third successive season before playing a key role in Croatia’s historic run to the 2018 World Cup final.

Moreover, it was the first time a player other than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had won the award in 10 years. The two legends had won the award five times each since 2008, per the Independent.

Modric also won the Golden Ball in the 2018 World Cup and was named the Best FIFA Footballer of the Year. He remains the only Croatian to claim the Ballon d’Or.

Marcelo on Modric Ballon d'Or

The legendary left-back recently lifted the Copa Copa Libertadores with his boyhood club, Fluminense, a few weeks ago.

He was recently asked which player surprised him the most in his career. He named Isco and Modric, his former Real Madrid teammates.

“The guy who surpised me, I’ll say 2. Both are stars. One is Isco, that guy is out of this world. He started his career in futsal. What he did in training or during games is something I will never understand. How he pulled that off, he’s a baller,” per Madrid Universal.

The former Brazil international appeared to blast those who said Modric didn't deserve the award.

“The other is Modrić. People who say he did not deserve the Ballon d’Or? They’re just saying (expletive) [laughs].”

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Modric unhappy with reduced role

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Modric is not happy with his current role at the club. The Ballon d'Or winner signed a new deal this summer but has been pushed to the bench so far this season.

The Croatia international joined Madrid in 2012 and has won 23 trophies in 11 years at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, cementing his status as one of the best players in Madrid history.

Modric has started just eight of the 17 games he's played for Real MKadrid this season.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.