Luka Modrić Considered ‘Sex Symbol’ in Japan

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

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Slobodan Kadić

The story of Luka Modrić’s life inspired the world – from a boy who fled his birthplace of Obrovac with his family during the war, to living as refugees, and today being named the best footballer in the world. reports on January 7, 2019, that back in 2016, Spanish sports journalists Vicente Azpitarte and Jose Manuel Puertas announced the book “Luka Modrić: Son of War” (Luka Modric: El hijo de la guerra), which talks about Modric’s upbringing and his road to Real Madrid, one of the most powerful clubs in the world. Davor Šuker wrote the preface.

The 208-page biography of a boy who, according to the testimony, broke more windows than Serbian bombs playing football at the refugee hotel “Iž” in Zadar, will soon be translated into Japanese.

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Amazon screenshot

When Vicente Azpitrate, the co-author of the biography, recently visited Japan to finalize the new edition of the book about Luka, he was surprised by the cover photo. The publishers thus decided to use a picture of Luka with his hair pushed back to reveal his face on the cover instead. 


Image from one of the events promoting the book

When Azpitrate asked the publishers why they chose to represent Luka in this way, and not of him playing football, in a duel or celebrating on the pitch, he received a rather interesting answer.

“In Japan, Modrić is considered one of the most attractive footballers in the world. He is a sex symbol, and our women think he is more handsome and more beautiful than Cristiano Ronaldo,” the Japanese publishers explained.

It is not just about his long hair, facial structure, and pointed nose, but ultimately his life story, growing up in fear, persistent work and the difficult path he overcame.

“The life of this Croatian footballer is full of difficulties that eventually turned him into one of the greatest stars of world football. For this status, he faced all the obstacles and the war in the Balkans,” reads the introduction to the book about Luka, which contains statements from his teammates, coaches, friends, and journalists who have followed him during his career.

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