Croatia has its own little Deco—a don’t call me Bob Cobb, call me the ‘maestro’. A little engine of a player who runs the teams, darts here and there, sprays around clever passes, and cuts in and out of defenders like he’s running the show, which he is.
But Modric’s still a youngster at just 22 years old while Deco has hit 30. Not ancient in the soccer world but the ceiling for him is perhaps a four or five years away.
I can see why the Croatian was scooped up by the Tottenham Hotspurs in the off season – he’s got the ability to thread passes as well as score. Spurs paid £16.5 million for his services. With the addition of Dos Santos, the Spurs are a team to watch this next year in the EPL.
The thing I also like about Modric is he’s a fighter as well as a playmaker. Usually the two don’t necessarily go together. Late in the game versus Germany which Croatia held on to win 2-1, he got stuck in and won the ball from Torsten Frings who was the last man in the back. Modric was in clear for a one on one with the keeper but the referee called a foul and issued him a yellow. He did go in with his cleats up, so I think the referee had to call it, but he also won the ball and the tackle wasn’t just all ankle.
Extra: Nani over at Manchester United and Modric’s new teammate Robbie Keane are going to have some competition as to whom can do the best flip celebration after they score. I think Nani’s got them beat on pure athleticism and grace, and then Modric’s got some potential, but nobody can compete with Keane’s exuberance. The true test will be who’s scoring the most goals so they can actually celebrate, and that mostly like will be the Irishmen and Modric providing the service.