What to do when the idol of the nation gets into bed with indicted people? How does one write an article about that?
Here on TCN, we have a variety of authors, and all of them have their opinions about different issues. While discussing some articles in the past, the name of Luka Modrić popped out a couple of times. On June 13, 2017, the captain of the Croatian football team, and the Real Madrid player hit the headlines.
He did not play another football match (he played a poor one a few days ago, but that is a totally different matter), he was a key witness for the prosecution in the trial of Zdravko Mamić and others in Osijek. As the trial was broadcasted live on many websites in Croatia, the moment when he started to forget the things he stated in his previous statements will be one to remember.
The funny thing is, the statement he will be remembered from that moment on was “I couldn’t remember.”
Back to the beginning. I told you about the TCN diversity in opinions. There are those who consider him one of the coolest people in Croatian sport or even more than that, and there are a few of us who do not share the same enthusiasm about Luka Modrić’s biography.
While we all do give him credit for his accomplishments on the football pitch, his off-pitch biography is what was causing the raising of the eyebrows for some of us.
My editor sent me the message and asked me if I could do a piece with the headline you can see above this article. At first, I was ready to go, but as I started to prepare for writing, I realised that it is not easy to write about the loss of respect for someone I did not respect in the first place.
But, social media helped a lot. A bunch of people who adored Lukica ( the nickname he got in Croatia, translated “Little Luka”) started to burst with rage towards him, as soon as the news hit the media.
It is a known fact, and even Mr. Mamić does not deny it, Little Luka signed the private contract with Mamić while he was just a kid. According to that contract, which changed a lot during Luka’s career, Mr. Mamić is entitled to receive a significant portion of Modrić’s revenues throughout his professional career.
That fact was denied in the past, but at the court, Mr. Mamić and Mr. Modrić are using that contract to acquit the charges for embezzlement.
Those contracts might be legal, but there is no question about the immorality of that deal, as Mr. Mamić was in a clear conflict of interest while managing Dinamo. Luka was, until yesterday, considered a victim in this immoral business, as he was observed as just a poor kid from Zadar, whose ignorance and naive was exploited by the big bad wolf Mamić is considered to be.
However, as Modrić forgot all about that conveniently at the trial, and as he helped the big bad wolf, he is suddenly considered a collaborator by the majority of his fans in Croatia.
The problem of Croatian football runs much deeper than Luka Modrić, as many cases like that lie below the surface of it all, and the corruption and sports agents influence start to create the paths of many kids dreaming of becoming the next Luka Modrić.
One can only hope that the case of Luka Modrić will teach some of them that the decisions they make off the pitch are often more important than those on the pitch.
If someone was to ask me when exactly I lost respect for Luka Modrić; the answer would be “I can’t remember.“
Luka Modrić will not be forgotten, but the issue remains; how will he be remembered?