On September 9, 1985, in the village of Modrici approximately 60 kilometers from Zadar, a young boy named Luka was born. The village was a pretty isolated place near the mountain Velebit, and the young Luka grew up in his grandfather's house.
About six years later, in December 1991, it was his grandfather, who was also named Luka Modric, walked up the mountain with their livestock. He never came back. He became one of the many thousands of victims of the war. Luka the younger was forced to flee with his family to Zadar where a large refugee hotel became their residence.
In the parking lot adjacent to the hotel Luka used to go out and play football. And that was in the parking lot that the blonde angel began to develop its wings.
The years in NK Zadar was tough. Every workout was a struggle for life. The grenades flew over the young people, yet they continued to work out and do what they loved most. After a few years in Zadar Luka wanted test his wings in a bigger club.
But his favorite club turned down him because he was too small and weak. Instead it was Dinamo Zagreb that grabbed a hold of him. But the time of Dinamo was initially tough and he was sent out on various loans. First to Zrinjski Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina and then to Inter Zapresic. The little midfielder had found success in both clubs and it was then, Dinamo really understood the jewel they had.
On the 20th June 2008, a crying Luka Modric walked off Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna. He had missed a penalty in the quarter-final against Turkey in the European Championships.
In less than one month, the same Luka Modric is stepping into the Arena de Sao Paolo in Brazil to meet the host nation in this summer's World Cup. It is the same boy who, when he was six years old was told that his beloved grandfather had died. It is the same boy who kicked a ball in the parking lot adjacent refugee hotel in Zadar. It is the same boy who had to flee from grenades at practice, and it is the same boy who was turned down by Hajduk Split.
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