Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric will once again be one of Europe's most sought-after talents this summer after another fine season at White Hart Lane. On arrival in the Premier League four years ago, the 26-year-old quickly brushed off doubts about his size and physical strength to become widely acknowledged as one of the best midfielders in English football.
When on form, Modric is a delight to watch. Having arrived as an attacking midfielder, the Croat quickly dropped into a deep-lying playmaker position for Spurs, where he can use his ball-retention abilities to the greatest possible effect. The change in position has also allowed Modric's work rate and combative nature to shine through, skills that have undoubtedly developed during his time in the Premier League.
Modric is central to Croatia's plans at international level. Required to be the side's creative inspiration, a lot of pressure and expectation will fall upon his shoulders this summer and how he reacts to this mantle will be key to the side's chances of progression. Although, given his central role to the rise of Tottenham over recent years, it would be no surprised to see the diminutive playmaker guide his side to an unexpected result.
Expert's take: The Croatian was one of the pleasant surprises of the past Euro and has kept his level ever since. He generates play both for Tottenham and his national teams due to his vision and accurate passing, but he is also a great finisher. Will be key to the chances of success of his team in Poland/Ukraine. -- Damian Didonato
Stats That Matter:
• 8 goals in 54 appearances for Croatia since his debut in 2006
• His fourth-minute penalty against Austria at Euro 2008 was the fastest penalty ever awarded at the European Championship
• Named to UEFA Team of the Tournament at Euro 2008, becoming the second Croatian to achieve the honor
• Named Prva NHL (top eague in Croatia) Player of the Year in 2007 for Dinamo Zagreb
• Named One Hotspur Player of the Year for Tottenham in 2010-11