Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Karim Benzema.... Real Madrid have accumulated some of the most influential and talented players on the planet, albeit for monumental price tags.
Unsurprisingly, they tend to grab the headlines for their goals and flair performances as the reigning European Champions brush aside everything in their path. But, behind those stars are players who enable them to play with so much freedom and panache. These are the unsung heroes of football and, at the moment, Luka Modric is one of the very best.
He hasn't been so solid in the white Madrid shirt. In the 2012/13 season, his first in Spain following his transfer from London side Tottenham Hotspur, he was voted the league's worst signing along with Alex Song of Barcelona, and he was rather unpopular with the Bernabeu faithful.
But, towards the end of said season, he started to prove himself as an integral part of Les Merengues' line-up, scoring important goals against Manchester United and Real Mallorca as Madrid pushed but ultimately failed to clinch a trophy.
Last season, the 2013/14 edition on Spain's La liga, Modric consistently proved himself to be Madrid's most accurate passer with an average of 90% in La Liga and over 91% in his side's successful Champions League campaign where Real clinched "La Decima". Nine assists throughout the season shows that he played an important part in the side's victories.
- Does the Luka Modric and Toni Kroos midfield partnership work?
- Jose Mourinho reveals Luka Modric rejected Chelsea
- Chelsea wasting time with Luka Modric negotiations
He has played in every single game for Los Blancos already this season and has undoubtedly been one of the teams best performers, quite a task bearing in mind the amount of talent which manager Carlo Ancelotti can call upon.
His assist for Gareth Bale against Basel in this season's 5-1 drubbing of the Swiss side, with his trademark outside of his right boot, was sublime and shows what he is capable of. But not only is he a master passer, he also does his fair share of defensive work.
On Saturday, against Barcelona, he anchored the midfield, managing to stop Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar have a lasting impact on the game; not the easiest of tasks.
Maybe he could chip in with a few more goals, but in a team with Ronaldo and Bale it is not exactly what he is needed for. Of course those players will grab the attention, but Modric deserves more than his fair share, and he will hopefully get it in the coming mont