I’m A Croatian International. Why Did I Leave Tottenham?


“Bok!” I’m Luka Modric and I played for Tottenham Hotspur from August, 2008 until last summer. I left White Hart Lane after four years having made 159 appearances but it was a dream move to Spain and I had set my heart on playing for Real Madrid.

Luka Modric [Photo: jlally1]Why did I leave Tottenham? It was so good at Tottenham and if I’d stayed, with their shortage of creative midfield players, I’d be playing every week. Everyone appreciated my passing in midfield, controlling the game and my little runs forward with the occasional goal. Everyone told me how good I was.

It took me some time to settle into English football but I showed people that I wasn’t too small for the hurly-burly of Premier League football. Then we had a fantastic season in the Champions League and I wanted more of that. We missed out on the top four the next season and then Chelsea wanted me to move to Stamford Bridge but Mr Levy wouldn’t let me go. I didn’t like that and had to stay with Spurs. Last year we had a good season but it ended badly with us missing out on the Champions League again.

Everyone – my friends and advisers told me I was too good to stay at Spurs and that I could do better than Tottenham and should be playing in Champions League every year. After playing for Croatia in the European Championships I decided that I wasn’t going to play for Tottenham again and that I wanted to join Real Madrid.

Luka at the Lane

Luka Modric had agreed to sign for Tottenham in April, 2008 as Spurs looked forward to life under Juande Ramos. It was unusual for Tottenham to complete a signing so early in the summer and some questioned whether the slightly built Modric would be able to cope with the rigours of football in England. He cost Spurs a record £16.5 million when signed from Dinamo Zagreb. At first, it was difficult at White Hart Lane as the team struggled, taking only two points from eight games. The arrival of Harry Redknapp was a blessing for Modric as his form improved and he made a significant contribution to Spurs’ recovery, including the match winning goal against Chelsea in March.

[Photo: mansunalvis]The following season Modric was out for four months after breaking his leg against Birmingham City in August. He returned in December and played a more central role as Tottenham went on to finish fourth and claim a Champions League place. For the next two seasons, Modric was a vital member of the Tottenham midfield making 68 Premier League appearances in that time. He also appeared in another fifteen Cup and European matches, making him one of Tottenham’s most used players in that period. One criticism which was often laid against him, was that he didn’t score enough goals. He scored 17 goals in all competitions from 159 appearances and has been credited with 26 assists. When he does score, the goals tend to be spectacular in nature – like the winner against Chelsea or his last goal at Bolton in May, 2012. One amazing statistic from season 2011 – 12 showed that he created 92 goal scoring opportunities but only 6 were converted into goals – that clearly says something about the Tottenham strike force.

In Spain

I wasn’t going to let the Chairman dictate to me and I held out for my transfer to Spain, joining Real Madrid last August. The weather was lovely and I was looking forward to playing and won my first trophy, The Spanish Super Cup, within 36 hours of joining Real. We defeated Barcelona and I came on as a late substitute. It took me some time to settle as I had missed much of the pre-season training due to the transfer negotiations. Mr Mourinho played me out of position and I didn’t start very often – it was tough to make a good impression.

At Christmas, the Real fans voted me the worst signing in La Liga – that hurt me! It couldn’t get any worse but then last January I read in the Sun that Chelsea wanted to sign me!

It was good to come back to England to play Manchester United in the Champions League but nobody even knew I was there. All the attention was on the return of Christiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford, on Ryan Giggs 1000th career appearance and then Sir Alex Ferguson dropped Wayne Rooney. By the way, I scored the equalising goal but the next day nobody remembered that as Christiano scored the winner and everyone was in a tizzy over the referee sending off Nani and pondering about what the future held for Wayne Rooney.

It was good to be playing against Premier League players again – I’m good at that. Maybe I should return to the Premier League. Why did I leave Tottenham?

Other blogs in the I’m An International series:

I Am A Russian International Striker. Why Did I Leave Tottenham?

I Am An England International. Why AM I Still at Tottenham?

I Am An England International. I Was Born to Play for Tottenham

I Am Another International Goalkeeper. Get Me Out of Tottenham!

I Am An International Goalkeeper. Get Me Out of Tottenham!

I Am An American International. What Am I Doing at Totenham?

I Am A Dutch International. Why Did Tottenham Get Me Out?