Sky Sports pundit heaps praise on Luka Modric after bagging The Best award

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson believes Luka Modric truly deserves The Best Player of the Year award from FIFA after being influential for club and country last term. The Croatia international bagged his third successive Champions League crown with Real Madrid last season and he thereafter went on to star for Croatia at the World Cup where they were eventually runners up to France.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Merson feels there are no question marks regarding the Croatian’s showing at the World Cup and highlighted the semi-final against England as one of his standouts, he said: “Definitely. For the World Player of the Year, the pinnacle is the World Cup and the way he performed at the tournament was just unreal. In the England game, he just constantly kept on running. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as fit as that on a football pitch. He just kept on going and going and not just running, his quality. I just think he’s top, top drawer.”

Meanwhile, Merson indicated that some of the credit should go to former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, who transformed the Croatian during their time together at White Hart Lane, he added: “Quietly have a word for Harry Redknapp. When Modric was at Tottenham, he was struggling a bit and then Harry went there and put him in a position where you get him on the ball. After that, he’s never looked back. He’s a worthy winner.”

Modric, who managed to secure the Golden Ball at the FIFA World Cup, was also been named the UEFA Player of the Year last month and it now remains to be see whether he can get hold of the prestigious Ballon d’Or title from France Football. One of Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi has won the accolade over the past decade but there is the anticipation that the trend could break this time around. Messi was recently a surprise exclusion from the final shortlist for FIFA’s Best award despite securing a League and Cup double with Barcelona last term.