Midfielder Luka Modric, the captain of Croatia's football team that won the silver medal at the FIFA World Cup in Russia on Sunday, was crowned best player of the tournament.
“I am proud of this honour, and I want to thank all my team, because this would be impossible without them,” Modric said.
Winning Golden Ball for best player means that this 32-year-old football player, who plays for Real Madrid, has become the all time best footballer of Croatia, surpassing Davor Suker, former player and current head of the Croatian Football Federation, who had won Golden Boot in the 1998 World Cup, as well as one UEFA Champions League title with Real Madrid, also in 1998.
Modric had also won four Champions League titles with Real Madrid.
Foreign media, covering stunning wins of Croatia's national team at the football tournament, have also written about the early life of Modric who was expelled with his family from their home village in the Dalmatian hinterland during Croatia's war of independence. Luka was six when his family was forced to leave their home during the insurgence of the Serb rebels who killed Luka's grandfather.
The Modric family just as other displaced and refugee families were accommodated in a hotel in Zadar. In these difficult circumstances, Modric began playing football. During his childhood and teenage years, he played in local clubs and started developing his career in Dinamo Zagreb.
"He is a wonderful player who is able to do most things you need from a midfielder. He is always calm, which is impressive considering the tempo these games are being played at, and builds the team’s play without any pressure whatsoever," reads an article issued by the Guardian.
Modric made his international debut for Croatia against Argentina in March 2006, and scored his first international goal in a friendly match against Italy.