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Modric wins the Golden Ball at the World Cup

16 July 2018

The Croatia playmaker, who will be the key player when his team faces France in the World Cup final on Sunday, has overcome much more than just criticisms about his height in his 32 years.

Whether France wins its second title in 20 years or Croatia raises the trophy for the first time Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin and almost a billion television viewers could turn on the play of the two stars.

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The midfielder was charged in March over alleged false testimony he gave in the case that saw Croatian football kingpin Zdravko Mamic sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.

The 32-year-old has stood out for the Vatreni in Russian Federation over the past month and is now joint-favourite with final opponent Kylian Mbappe to win the Golden Ball award. Modric certainly believes that every member of the Vatreni squad can leave Russian Federation with heads held high and memories that will last a lifetime.

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Modric, meanwhile, has been tipped as a potential Golden Ball victor for the competition, but he is more focused on team success. The Real Madrid orchestrator-in-chief has known no bounds in Russian Federation, covering a colossal 63 kilometres so far in the tournament - more than any other player.

Modric is the first Croatian player to win the prestigious award. The tournament featured 169 goals scored and it came within two of tying the highest scoring World Cup ever. "What we most like about him is his honest approach towards dealing with players".

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He also picked three man-of-the-match honours in the tournament.

Modric wins the Golden Ball at the World Cup