Modric, Messi, Jordan, Pele: Real Madrid star to join 'special' set of athletes to win Marca Legend

Luka Modric; Michael Jordan; Muhammad Ali; Lionel Messi; Rafael Nadal

Luka Modric will receive the Marca Legend tomorrow, the trophy awarded by the Spanish news outlet Marca to recognise the outstanding achievements of the world’s most special athletes.

The Croatian will join what is arguably one of the most exclusive lists ever.

Previous inductees include the likes of: Michael Jordan, Lionel Messi, Muhammad Ali, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernando Alonso, Rafael Nadal, Ronaldo Nazario, Pele, Niki Lauda and Johan Cruyff amongst others.

You really do have to be a trailblazer in sport to earn such widely coveted recognition.

Which, of course, Modric is. The Real Madrid architect has been a pivotal part of everything Los Blancos have achieved in the decade he has been with the club.

Across his time in the Spanish capital, the 36-year-old has lifted four Champions League trophies and three La Liga titles – not to mention winning the Ballon d’Or in 2018, thus breaking the hegemony of Messi and Ronaldo.

Modric Ballon d'Or
Modric Ballon d’Or

Humble beginnings

His story is also a source of great inspiration. Having being born into a time of war and turmoil in his home nation, Modric and his family became refugees, living in the Hotel Kolovare, Zadar, for seven years.

His grandfather was tragically executed at the hands of Serbian rebels and thousands of bombs were dropped on the city throughout there time in hiding.

Football proved a source of escape for the young Modric, although it soon became apparent that it had the potential to become so much more…

As he developed as a player, Modric went from Dinamo Zagreb to Zrinjski Mostar, to Inter Zapresic, before eventually landing at Tottenham Hotspur.

Modric Tottenham

In his four years at White Hart Lane, the Croatian established himself as one of the most technically gifted footballers in Europe, eventually earning himself a ยฃ36 million transfer to Bernabeu.

And once he got into the white of Real Madrid, well, he just didn’t look back, did he? A truly magnificent journey to the very top.

The Marca Legend

The event will take place on May 18 at 17:30 Spanish time, in the Casino de Madrid.

A star-studded cast of media and sporting personalities are expected to be present for the crowing of the achievement – with plenty of Real Madrid representation a given.

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