The general consensus here at DTHQ is that Luka Modric is the finest central midfielder walking on, or rather effortlessly gliding across, the planet.
And last night he became the first man in a decade to break the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo duopoly and win the Ballon d’Or.
But it hasn’t always been plain sailing for Modric.
Far from it.
In fact, nearly six years ago the former playmaker topped a poll for worst La Liga signing of the year.
Modric joined Real for £30m after Euro 2012 following a number of highly impressive seasons as the creative hub at Tottenham.
Gareth Bale may have taken most of the plaudits, but it was Modric who made Spurs tick as they got back into the Champions League and looked a genuine force again under Harry Redknapp.
But his Real career started slowly, with a whopping 32.2 per cent of voters in a Marca poll nominating him the worst new acquisition by a Spanish club in 2012.
Nowadays Madrid fans regard Modric as their most important player and last season their Barcelona counterparts agreed the diminutive midfielder is the one player they want to sign the most from their great rivals.
The midfield metronome for three successive Champions League winning sides and inspiring his country to their first ever World Cup final, it’s been an incredible year for little Luka.
If anyone was to end Messi and Ronaldo’s dominance, it had to be him.
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VIDEO: Luka Modric appreciation society
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