Before Euro 2012 you stated that Modric was a player born to play at Real Madrid. What was the reasoning behind that comment?
It was a comment based on the fact that I know the player well and am aware of his ability and temperament. I never had doubts about his playing ability as he showed his worth with Spurs in the Premier League.I always felt that the Spanish league and Real Madrid in particular would be an ideal destination for him and time has proved me right. He is a key player in the squad, loved by the fans and has integrated with Spanish life. Modric is a big-team player and Madrid are perfect for him.
And what about the other Croatian international, Kovacic?
Another fine player but one who needs to play more. Madrid are a huge team and it's easy to be eaten up in the machinery if one doesn't find one's place.
Modric is also a key figure in the dressing room...
It's due to his personality. He's a decent hard worker and that is appreciated by the rest of the squad..
What do you expect from Madrid this season?
I'd expect them to be challenging on all fronts as always. Zidane is doing a great job and has really matured as a coach. Winning the Champions League has taken the pressure of him and that's a good way for a coach to work. I feel Madrid will have a great season and could break records.
Who is the better player, Modric or Rakitic?
You can't ask me that ! It's like asking me who do I prefer, my father or mother. If a journalist from Madrid asks me I'll say Modric and if the same question is posed by the Catalan media I'll answer Rakitic. It's great to see two Croatian players doing so well at two huge clubs.
Do you see Modric winning the Ballon D'Or one day?
I'd be so happy if that materialized but it won't be easy as the competition is strong with the likes of Cristiano, Messi, Neymar, Luis Suárez around. I really do wish the best for Luka and am confident he'll be instrumental in securing more titles with Real Madrid.