Former Manchester United and current LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has expressed his delight and slight surprise that Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric was finally honoured for his performances for both club and country, despite being one of the most “complete” midfielders over the years.
The Croatian ended the duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi by winning the Ballon d’Or along with a slew of other individual awards for his role in helping Madrid win their third consecutive UEFA Champions League while also helping his country reach the finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Ibrahimovic who is considered as one of the best footballers in the history of the sport, revealed that he was delighted with Modric’s win as he was not only encouraged to see a different person win, but also glad to see a midfielder win the prize as usually only the strikers are celebrated.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Luka Modric: “I think he’s the most complete midfielders in the world. He had fantastic pace, he has a vision for the game that is amazing. The ball handling is amazing. I played against him at an early age, when he was a young player.” pic.twitter.com/B4uqHYUXRj
— Ed Smith (@EdwardSmith_78) February 15, 2019
“I think [Modric] is one of the most complete midfielders in the world. He has fantastic pace, he has a vision for the game that is amazing. The ball handling is amazing. I played against him at an early age, when he was a young player. Now he is an experienced player and I’m happy that he won the Ballon d’Or, the FIFA best player at the World Cup, all these things, because it’s not often that a player like that gets that credit,” Ibrahimovic said as quoted by Goal.
“Normally it’s a striker or somebody that has been ‘wow’. But this year, let’s say last year, was his year. I’m happy that he won.”
The 33-year-old is currently in his seventh year at the Bernabeu, for whom he has made 290 appearances, while playing a key role in helping the club win one La Liga, one Copa del Rey and four Champions League titles.