Luka Modric reveals that prior to his switch to England with Tottenham in 2008, he came extremely close to joining another Premier League juggernaut – Chelsea.
The Croatian has since gone on to win one La Liga title and four Champions League trophies with Los Blancos, steadily becoming one of the world’s best central midfielders in the process – proven when he scooped the coveted Ballon d’Or award in 2018 after reaching the World Cup final last summer.
Before his switch to White Hart Lane, though, Modric admits that he had his heart firmly set on joining Chelsea, only for the proposed transfer to be cancelled at the very last minute.
“During the winter break [of the 2007/2008 season], which I spent in Zadar, I got information that Dinamo and Chelsea were practically in agreement,” Modric revealed in his autobiography, as reported by Croatian outlet Vercernji List (via 90min).
“Zdravko Mamic [Dinamo’s executive director] flew to London and was convinced that I would be moving to Stamford Bridge in the winter transfer window.
Would N'Golo Kante be a good signing for Real Madrid?
“While I was waiting for a sign with [my wife] Vanja in Zadar, rumours began to emerge that the clubs had failed to agree on the terms of the contract and that the transfer had failed.”
These rumours turned out to be true after Dinamo’s executive director, Zdravko Mamić, confirmed the cancellation of the transfer a few days later.
The midfielder recalls in his book: “After telling the parents the end of the story [of the transfer break down], I left their apartment and in the parking lot in front of the building, while talking to Vanja about it, I broke down. I couldn’t hold back my tears.”
Modric’s heartbreak all those years ago is understandable considering that, at the time, he would have no idea how amazing his career would turn out to be.
Chelsea are one of the biggest clubs in world football so to come so close to signing – getting all of your hopes and expectations up – only for them to be shattered in an instance would have hurt even the most hardened of human beings.
Luckily, though, Modric went on to prove himself in the Premier League and continues to display his greatness in a Real Madrid shirt; he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest midfielders this generation has ever witnessed.
Madrid fans, where does Modric rate in terms of the best midfielders to play for your club? Comment below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!