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They may have suffered defeat at the hands of France at the weekend, but the 23-man Croatia squad were welcomed with open arms by approximately 500,000 fans as they touched down in Zagreb, receiving a heroes welcome on their return.
The fact that 12 percent of Croatia's entire population turned out to the ceremony is something else and the likes of Luka Modric, who received the Golden Ball shortly after the final whistle on Sunday, deservedly lapped up the applause.
Modric in particular has gone through so much on his journey to the World Cup final and in another typically unselfish act, he did something heartwarming as he stood on stage.
@lukamodric10 invites kid with Down syndrome on stage during party in Zagreb :flag_hr::pray: pic.twitter.com/0FPsjzpsMI
- 433 (@official433) July 18, 2018
According to CBSsports, the Real Madrid midfielder was told that a boy with down syndrome wanted to high-five him because he was his favourite player.
Instead, Modric brought the boy on stage with the whole team and had his arm around him throughout the ceremony - an act that young boy will never, ever forget.
Now that is what you call a role model, kids. Footage shows the 32-year-old embracing the boy as thousands of Croatia fans looked on.
Golden Ball winner Luka Modric was told that a boy with down syndrome wanted to high-five him since he was his favorite player.
Instead, Modric brought the boy on stage with the whole team and had his arm around him the entire ceremony.
Luka Modric is the hero we need. pic.twitter.com/NDNlRBTkTD
- Yoni Mernick (@OriginalYoni) July 17, 2018
MODRIĆ INVITING A KID WITH A DOWN SYNDROME ON THE STAGE TEARS IN MY EYES HE IS THE BEST HUMAN WHO HAS EVER LIVED
- Croatia deserved it (@AnthonyMattial) July 16, 2018
Take a bow, Luka - you really are a true gentlemen of the game.
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