Five Years Ago, Luka Modric Was Voted The Worst Signing In La Liga

Luka Modric won the Golden Ball at the World Cup and he could be the first man not named Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in over a decade to win the Ballon d'Or, and that means he's come a long way since he moved to Real Madrid.

If Modric become the first man since Kaka to win the Ballon d'Or that isn't Messi or Ronaldo then there will be few complaints.

The Croatian midfielder was a major part of Real Madrid's third Champions League win in a row and his country's run to the World Cup final.

FIFA have already recognised his brilliance at the tournament by naming him the best player at the competition, so it wouldn't be a stretch to see him win 'The Best' award or Ballon d'Or later this year.

Right now, there are few people who would say that Modric isn't the best midfielder in the world and there isn't too much competition.

He may be the best right now but around five years ago he was the worst signing in La Liga.

Modric moved from Dinamo Zagreb to Spurs in the summer of 2008 for £16.5 million, then a joint record fee for Spurs, and after early struggle with form and fitness, leading people to say he was too lightweight for the Premier League, he soon become one of the leading lights of the English top tier.

Modric at the start of his Real career. Image: PA Images
Modric at the start of his Real career. Image: PA Images

After four years at White Hart Lane, he earned himself a £30 million move to Real Madrid after Spurs had rejected £10 million more from Chelsea a year before.

However, life at the Bernabeu started even worse for Modric than they had in England and by the winter break at the end of December he'd made just 19 appearances, playing on average 38 minutes a game and scoring just the one goal.

That led to him being voted as the worst signing of the season:

Modric
Modric

Modric 'won' 32.2% of the vote, putting him just ahead of Barcelona's Alexander Song, who had moved from Arsenal.

The Croatian spoke to Sportske, a newspaper in his home country, at the time saying, "This is Real Madrid. I understand there is great pressure for new signings to succeed here.

"I'm not making excuses, I am not that kind of person, but it is very challenging to adapt to life at a big club like Madrid.

"I have had a few good performances, if not in every game, but I believe that I can prove I have something to offer."

Modric with the Golden Ball award. Image: PA Images
Modric with the Golden Ball award. Image: PA Images

Modric was pretty true to his word. He's gone on to play six seasons for Los Blancos, so far, and though he's only won one La Liga title he has four Champions League wins to his name.

Things really could come full circle if he picks up the most prestigious award in football later this year.

From a €40 million 'shame' to the best midfielder in the world, it's been quite the five years.

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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