Luka Modrić was named the 2018 FIFA Player of the Year, becoming the first player not named Ronaldo or Messi to win the honor since Kaká took home the title in 2007. His combination of creativity, skill, intelligence, and vision have made him the ultimate central midfielder and a critical piece to the success of both Real Madrid and the Croatian National team.
For young central midfielders looking to master the position and develop the key skills necessary to compete at the highest levels, there is no better role model than Luka Modrić. His dedication to mastering his ball skills are evident each time he takes the pitch, while his purpose and vision frequently result in scoring opportunities for his teammates.
In this post, we’ll share with you the three core aspects of Luka Modrić’s game that help elevate his play to the next level, so that young players can begin learning these skills early and developing them as they grow and play at higher levels.
What Luka Modrić Does Best
As a central midfielder, it is Modrić’s job to control the tempo of play, retain possession, and launch the attack strategically to help his team advance the ball with a purpose and create quality scoring opportunities. There are a few core skills and qualities he possesses that help him do this with incredible efficiency:
- Impeccable passing abilities allow him to distribute the ball anywhere on the pitch in an instant, leading to frequent scoring opportunities for his teammates.
- Finding space in behind the defense and exploiting it with cunning and anticipatory passing has become a staple of his game.
- Drawing pressure to create space using ball control and strong, purposeful dribbling disrupt defenses and create attacking opportunities out of nothing.
As you watch the video below, try to identify the space in behind the pressuring defenders as Modrić does, and pay attention to the creative, precise passing and foot skills he uses to move the ball there.
What Young Center Mids Should Practice
As a central midfielder at the elite level, Luka Modrić uses skill, cunning, and vision to exploit defenses and create high-quality scoring opportunities for his teammates. As a developing center mid, developing these skills can pay huge dividends:
- Mastering short, medium, long, and through passes can elevate the play of the entire team, retaining possession, building attacking momentum, and creating scoring chances out of seemingly nothing.
- Keeping eyes up while dribbling allows players to see spaces behind the committing defenders so that other players can exploit the space in attack.
- Improving ball control under pressure is an integral part of Modrić’s game, helping him to maintain possession while he manipulates defenses to set up his teammates.
At Total Soccer, we teach high-level skills like these to youth players of all ages at our soccer classes in Montgomery County and throughout the Philadelphia area. From footwork and ball skills to vision, creativity, and purposeful thinking, we help teach the skills that translate to the pitch at both youth and elite levels. Sign up for one of our soccer classes near Newtown, PA, or a location near you to start making meaningful improvements to your game and begin playing like 2018 FIFA Player of the Year Luke Modrić.