It’s always worth remembering that Luka Modric was voted the worst La Liga signing of the season, weeks into his debut campaign with Real Madrid.
The diminutive Croatian midfielder initially struggled at the Bernabeu following his £30 million move from Tottenham and subsequently picked up 32.2 per cent of the votes when Spanish newspaper Marca ran a poll to name the worst signing in the Spanish top flight.
But every person who cast a vote for Modric back then has been made to look extremely foolish by the man himself.
Fast-forward six years and Modric is now undoubtedly one of the greatest midfielders in Real Madrid’s illustrious history.
The 32-year-old further established his status as a Real Madrid great with a mesmeric performance against Liverpool in Kiev on Saturday evening.
Modric dictated the tempo of the game from midfield and is now the proud owner of four Champions League winners’ medals following Madrid’s 3-1 victory at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium.
If anything, that £30 million transfer fee now looks a complete bargain in hindsight.
What Gerrard said about Modric after full-time
One person who reserved special praise for Modric after the match was former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.
The newly-appointed Rangers boss, who was working for BT Sport in Kiev, hit the nail on the head about the Croatia international with his post-match analysis.
After being encouraged by Gary Lineker to eulogise over Real Madrid as a team following their latest triumph, Gerrard said: “Just forget all that for just a minute about this Madrid team, what about Luka Modric’s performance today?”
Looking towards Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand, he added: “Is he the best midfield player in the world right now?
‘That performance was stunning’
“That performance today was stunning. He receives the ball in tight areas, he gets pressed by three or four people, he’s so calm, collected, cool under pressure.
“It was a joy to watch today. It was a special performance from him.”
You can watch Gerrard have his say on Modric here… (Skip to 9 minutes).
And to prove Gerrard was spot on about Modric, here are his stunning individual highlights from the match…
Lampard has his say on Modric
Lampard, meanwhile, added: “It’s like he spends eighty per cent of the time, him and Kroos, just taking the sting out of the game and moving the other team. Then when they decide the crucial pass that goes forward to put a bit more pace into the game, they just do it. They dominate possession.
“When you’re on the other team it’s soul destroying because you can’t get near them.
“Modric plays like he’s in the park. He’s never bothered – ‘I’ll just receive it and move it on’ – he’s so calm.”
Is Luka Modric currently the world’s best midfielder? Have your say by leaving a comment below.