Real Madrid’s Luka Modric won the Ballon d’Or on Monday to end a 10-year stranglehold on the award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Modric was announced as the winner of the prestigious prize in Paris ahead of Ronaldo and French World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann.
Here are five things you may not know about the 33-year-old midfielder.
- He was born in the village of “Modrici”, where he first put on a pair of boots.
- He married Vanja Bosnic in May 2010 in the Croatian capital of Zagreb in a private ceremony after dating her for four years.
- He has three kids; son Ivano and two daughters Ema and Sofia.
- He was caught up in the “Croatian War of Independence” in 1991 when he was six years old. His grandfather was murdered in cold blood by the local Croatian Serb rebels when attending to the cattle. The family fled the area to stay as refugees in a large hotel in Zadar.
- Carlo Ancelloti is his favourite manager. The Croat, since moving to Real Madrid in 2012, has worked under five managers namely Jose Mourinho, Ancelotti, Rafael Benitez, Zinedine Zidane and currently Santiago Solari but once admitted in an interview with BBC that the Italian remains his best manager he has played under.
“We had a great relationship, we still have a good one, that’s why I would pick him,” claimed Modric on BBC on the Italian whom they won the Uefa Champions League and Copa del Rey with.
- He was charged with perjury for stating that he annexed his fee at an earlier date than he allegedly had in an embezzlement and tax evasion trial against the former Dinamo Zagreb executive Zdravko Mamic.