Real Madrid midfield maestro, Luka Modric has disclosed that former Los Blancos manager, Zinedine Zidane helped him to win this year’s Ballon d’ Or.
Modric stated this after winning the 2018 Ballon d’Or in Paris on Monday night.
The Croatian captain beat Juventus forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, Atletico Madrid ace, Antoine Griezmann, Paris Saint-Germain youngster, Kylian Mbappe and Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi to win the world individual top prize.
The 33-year-old disclosed that Zidane has been advising him since he took over at Madrid that he can win the world biggest individual prize.
“There wasn’t a specific moment where he [Zidane] told me: You can win it,” Modric told France Football.
“When I recounted all of the individual trophies that I’ve won this year and when I saw that I was among the 30 finalists, I began to believe it, but there’s one thing I’ll never forget.
“When Zidane became Madrid coach in January 2016, he called me to his office one day after training and told me how he saw me as a player and what he expected of me.
“He told me that I was an important player for him and, above all, that he saw me as a player who could win the Ballon d’Or.
“When someone like Zidane, with all of his personality and history, tells you that, it boosts your confidence.
“I admired him and respected him enormously as a player, he saw me as someone like himself, quiet and a bit shy, he expected me to express myself more on the pitch, to open up.
“He needed me to be a key part of the team in an era when we were truly playing well. Those words from Zidane helped me to go further in my play.
“Even in spite of his words, I didn’t begin to believe it.”
Modric will hope to lead Madrid to victory when they tackle Melila on Thursday in the Copa del Rey fixture.