Not only has Luka Modric broken the Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi duopoly on the Ballon d'Or, but he has done it in a different position and through midfield excellence rather than the scoring of goals. The Croatian is pleased that his work in the centre of the pitch has been recognised and that the award wasn't given out based on goal tallies.
"The journey has been very long and tough, but because of that I am even happier about all that is happening now," he said in an interview with GQ Magazine. "All of the recognition, such as the FIFA World Player award or the Ballon d'Or, tastes better when you're aware that nobody gifted you anything.
"Nobody has gifted anything to me. "All that I have achieved has come through work. "It makes me happy that people have finally recognised all that I've achieved in my sporting career. "It is true that I have had to win a lot for this to happen, such as three Champions League title in a row and reaching the World Cup with a nation as small as Croatia, something that was unimaginable. "Only then have others realised that football isn't just goals, goals and goals."
In November, Modric won the sportsman of the year award given out by GQ Magazine.
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