Former Bayern Munich striker Ivica Olic has labelled Luka Modric as “one of a kind” and believes he still has a few more years left at the top level.
The Real Madrid midfielder has spent 16 years within Croatia’s international fold, accumulating over 150 caps for the 2018 World Cup runners-up.
Modric, 36, is in the early years of good work but shows no signs of giving up – and his recent UEFA Champions League victory with Madrid was his fifth lift.
While there may be a change of guard in the middle of the Madrid stadium, with the signing of Aurelien Tchouameni of Monaco and Eduardo Camavinga already prominent in the team, the picture is different from the national one.
The Croatian midfielder who has played the most games will remain part of the squad for the 2022 World Cup and, although it may be his last international tournament, Croatian assistant coach Olic believes Modric will not completely replace his boots.
“I think Luke still thinks only about sports and playing football. He still has that passion,” he told Stats Perform.
“When I look at his philosophy, how much he works for him, I think he will still play for a few more years.
“After that, if he wants to stay in football, he wants to be a coach, he will definitely dedicate himself to it and succeed in it.
Modric recently revealed that he remembers all of his international games, and Olic feels he still has a lot to teach young players on the team.
“He recently played for the 150th national team. After that match he said he remembers every game in those 150, both the first one he played a long time ago and the most recent one, a few days ago. , “he added.
“He is still full of energy, full of enthusiasm and could not wait to join the national team after a long and difficult season.
“He has shown that he is a captain, what kind of player he is and what kind of person he is. He came on the first day to train and play. He is a kind person, no matter what, regardless of his age.
“You train and work as if you were 25 years old. I would be happy if he could play more games for us and stay healthy because he means a lot to the team.
“Young players still have to learn from him and he’s just something.”
Olic also believes Modric is “no longer a substitute” for Madrid, who were highlighted for their impressive help against Chelsea in the quarter-finals.
“The whole world still compliments him. He still surprises us with some moves, as recently as they played in the Champions League. He then played more than 20 or 25 meters off the outside of his foot,” he said.
“Everyone has talked about it. No matter where I was people were just talking about it. Therefore, you are still playing at a very high level and you are still sovereign and different.
“He will not take our place as well as Real Madrid. The fact that they have given him a new contract shows how much they value him.”