Little Modric is the biggest player

MOSCOW: Luka Modric may have been one of the smallest players at the World Cup but he has made the biggest impression, being named best player of the tournament even though he lost the final with Croatia against France.
And the Golden Ball award may not be the last for the 32-year-old Croatia captain as he is now a serious candidate to also end the10-year reign of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at the Fifa Best awards on September 24 in London.
Modric entered Sunday’s final – which Croatia lost 4-2 to France -having put in more kilometres than any other player at the month-long tournament, 63, as he attacked and defended, dictated pace, created scoring chances and goals, and scored twice himself.
He may only measure 1.72 metres but he was simply the heart of Zlatko Dalic’s team.
“You don’t have to be a strapping lad to play football,” he said ahead of the final. “I never doubted myself irrespective of talks[from others]. I always believed I could reach where I am now.”
Fellow-midfielder Ivan Rakitic named him “the best player in Croatia’s history” and for coach Zlatko Dalic he was “the man of the tournament.”
This was confirmed by Sunday’s award and he will travel to the FIFA Best as a major contender, having also won a fourth Champions League title with Real Madrid. The title collection also includes three Club World Cups and European Super Cups each, as well as a Spanish League and Cup title each,since he forced a 2012 move to Real after four years in England at Tottenham.
The move led to a lot of bad blood at Spurs, and Modric also had a hard time at first in the star-studded Real team before finally being accepted.
But the World Cup has at least for now glossed over another major issue for the player who spent several years in refugee housing as a boy during the Balkan Wars in the 1990s.
Modric could face imprisonment as he has been charged with perjury in Croatia around the trial of former Croatian football mogul Zdravko Mamic, who has been handed a jail sentence for corruption, pocketing money from Modric’s 2008 transfer from Dinamo Zagreb to Spurs.
It was not a popular issue in the Croatian camp in general and with Modric in particular in Russia.
“How long did you wait to ask this question? This is a World Cup,” here buffed a reporter. — dpa