Modric wins the Golden Ball at the World Cup

2018 World Cup – Best XI’s

Croatia captain Modric says war made people, team resilient

Modric tried to explain the vast influence of coach Dalic who took charge of Croatia with only two World Cup qualifying games remaining.

Modric, like Lionel Messi in 2014, received the award despite his country losing the final to France (4-2).

"We were so close to winning the World Cup itself", he added.

The Golden ball is voted by a panel and awarded to the best player at the tournament.

The Besiktas defender has courted controversy in Russian Federation and was forced to apologise after speaking out in support of Russia's neighbour and adversary Ukraine following Croatia's quarter-final victory over the host nation.

Whether France wins its second title in 20 years or Croatia raises the trophy for the first time Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin and almost a billion television viewers could turn on the play of the two stars.

Shaun Botterill  GettyImages
Shaun Botterill GettyImages

"When you put the sacred Croatia shirt on you become a different person", Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic said through a translator. "Truly, this was a great tournament for Croatia".

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.

Modric scored a goal each in Croatia's opening two games against Nigeria and Argentina. "I knew you did not have to be tall to play football".

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois won the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper for helping his team to a third-place finish after allowing just six goals in seven games. Not a single player in Russian Federation scored more, and you can't deny that.

He also picked three man-of-the-match honours in the tournament.

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