Luka Modri? (Croatian pronunciation: [lû?ka m??drit?]; born 9 September 1985) is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Spanish club Real Madrid and is the captain of the Croatia national team. Modri? plays mainly as a central midfielder but can also play as an attacking midfielder or as a defensive midfielder, usually deployed as a deep-lying playmaker. Modri? is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation, and the greatest Croatian footballer of all-time.Born in Zadar, Modri?s childhood coincided with the Croatian War of Independence which displaced his family. In 2002, he was signed by Dinamo Zagreb at age 16, after showing promise with his hometown club NK Zadars youth team. He continued his development in Zagreb before spells on loan to Zrinjski Mostar and Inter Zapreši?. He made his debut for Dinamo in 2005 and won three consecutive league titles and domestic cups, being named the Prva HNL Player of the Year in 2007. In 2008, he moved to Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur for a club-record transfer fee of £16.5 million, where he led Spurs to their first UEFA Champions League appearance in almost 50 years, reaching the quarter-finals of the 2010–11 tournament.
In the summer of 2012, Modri? joined Real Madrid for a £30 million transfer fee, where he became a key contributor under head coach Carlo Ancelotti, helped the team win La Décima, and was selected for the 2013–14 Champions League squad of the season. After Zinedine Zidane took over Madrid, Modri? was critical to three consecutive Champions League titles from 2015–16 to 2017–18, each time being voted into the squad of the season. He won the La Liga Award for Best Midfielder in 2016 for the second time, and the UEFA Club Football Award for Best Midfielder in 2017 and 2018. In 2015, he became the first Croatian player to be included in the FIFA World XI, in which he was included once again between 2016 and 2018, as well in the UEFA Team of the Year between 2016 and 2018. In 2018, Modri? became the first Croatian player to win the UEFA Mens Player of the Year Award, and by winning The Best FIFA Mens Player and Ballon dOr awards, he became the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the awards in more than a decade.
Modri? made his international debut for Croatia against Argentina in March 2006, and scored his first international goal in a friendly match against Italy. Modri? has since anchored Croatias second Golden Generation, participating in every major tournament Croatia has qualified for, including the 2008, 2012, and UEFA Euro 2016, as well the 2006, 2014, and 2018 FIFA World Cup. At UEFA Euro 2008, he was selected for the Team of the Tournament, becoming only the second Croatian to ever achieve this honour. Following group stage eliminations in his first two World Cups, Modri? led Croatia to the 2018 World Cup Final, and he received the Golden Ball award for Best Player of the Tournament. Furthermore, he has been named the Croatian Footballer of the Year a record seven times between 2007–2018.