Ex-Barcelona scout explains why LaLiga champions turned down the chance to sign Real Madrid icon Luka Modric – AS USA

Luka Modric has gone on to become one of Real Madrid’s most iconic players of all time after joining the club from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2012. The LaLiga giants splashed out a reported $37.4 million to prise the Croat away from the Premier League, a bargain given what the playmaker has gone on to achieve in the Spanish capital.
Modric has won a total of 23 trophies in his 10 seasons at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, including five Champions Leagues and three LaLiga titles. And he is far from being done yet, still playing an important, if slightly more understated, role in the Madrid midfield in 2023-24.
However, things could quite easily have worked out differently after it was revealed Los Blancos’ arch rivals Barcelona passed up the chance to sign the schemer. A decision which would be inexplicable were it not for Xavi and Andrés Iniesta.
Speaking to El Bar de Pique, former Barcelona scout Bojan Krkic Sr., the father of ex-Blaugrana and Spain attacker Bojan Krkic, explained how Modric came onto his radar and why Barça opted not to sign the now Real Madrid legend.
“Before Modric signed for Tottenham (in 2008), (former Croatia international and current UEFA Chief of Football)) Zvonimir Boban called me and said ‘I’ve got a player here for you’. I told him to send me a video because I always like to take a look at a player and form my own opinion of him. He sent me a video of him playing really well in the Croatian league…oh my goodess!
“I called him again and, as well as that, he told me that as a person and as a professional, in terms of intelligence, he’s like a God. I met with Modric and his girlfriend at the Hotel Princesa Sofia near Camp Nou, they came to spend a few days in Barcelona. Obviously, he was really keen to sign, he spoke perfect English when the waiters came over or whoever spoke to him, he was very polite. I was working with Txiki Berigistien, Barça’s technical director at the time, and I told him all this.
“But at that time, Iniesta was on his rise to the top, Xavi was already playing. There was more than enough cover in midfield. And Txiki really knew what to do in that kind of situation, the same happened with Franck Ribéry when Lionel Messi was coming through. Txiki didn’t want to block the path for any incredibly talented young players.
“That’s what happened with Modric, who signed for Tottenham. And then he went to Real Madrid”. And the rest, as they say, is history.
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