There is something timeless about Luka Modric gliding across a soccer field, spraying passes, and stitching play together. In his later years for Real Madrid, this is truer than ever. Adding to a Ballon d’Or and 21 major trophies in Spain, he’s a club world champion. Again. And he’ll be gracefully chasing down La Liga and Champions League titles before he’s run his race.
In perhaps his most refined incarnation, Modric, the athlete, doesn’t stop. Even as a 37-year-old, it’s hard to imagine him as anything other than the midfielder he is. Yet, as his minutes with Los Blancos gradually wind down, the cultured Croat is eyeing engagements outside the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu—which could gather pace when he finally hangs up his boots.
Most notably, the maestro is a long-standing Nike endorser. But that only scratches the surface regarding his off-field profile. The number 10, who leaves his flashiness to the playing surface, is spinning a couple of plates beyond the apparel label. Motivating him are three things. The first is home, the second is sports, and the third is fan engagement.
Growing up during Croatia’s war of independence, Modric broke through at local NK Zadar and then the talent factory Dinamo Zagreb before his 15 years in England and Spain. Throughout, he’s stayed close to his roots and is an ambassador for the popular Croatian sports data platform Sofascore. He’s also publicly supported the online platform ProTennisFam, driven by compatriot and sportsman Borna Coric, and has backed native startup Sportening—although this second project looks to be folding soon.
“We both proudly state that our success stories originate from Croatia,” says Anja Gadža from Sofascore, which provides fans with detailed statistics from 23 sports worldwide. Modric is nearing a year with the Zagreb-based company, which has upgraded its branding since adding him to the team.
“Just as every Croatian had their hearts filled with joy over the success of our national team in the last two World Cups, Luka has shown he cares about stories of success coming from Croatia—whether it’s in sports or business,” she adds.
Midfielder Modric is not quite ready to call it a day. This season, Real coach Ancelotti has used him more sparingly, giving midfielder Dani Ceballos—normally an understudy—regular runs in the team. But make no mistake, Los Blancos will count on more flashes of brilliance from Modric this year.
And in a climate where successful sports stars can blindly step into business—especially cryptocurrency and non-fungible token ventures—Modric is not acting hastily outside his day job. The maestro wants to know the enterprises he’s behind—whether through funding, being a representative, or simply tweeting support to fledgling companies back home.
This applies to ProTennisFam, an initiative that fractionalizes tennis players’ predicted earnings into NFTs for supporters to acquire. In showing support for homegrown companies like these, Modric is spurring on sports business in a country of just 4 million people. Given its small population, Croatia has wildly overachieved in soccer and can do the same in business if stars leverage it properly.
On whether interest may level up when Modric’s playing days conclude, ProTennisFam’s CEO Bruno Pliso—an acquaintance of Modric—told me, “I can’t speak in his name obviously, but I can always assume that people who have made such a career in soccer or sports don’t usually stop there. Once their bodies can’t work on the field anymore, there are plenty of things in which to get involved.
“Knowing a lot of sportspeople, they tend to stick to sports when they expand and start investing in businesses, whether it’s technology or anything related to sports—because it’s something they know more about.”
Modric is approaching 500 club appearances in all competitions for Real and may even play another European Championships with his country. This season, he and his teammates are striving to gather all three trophies in Madrid, where, on average, he’s won two each campaign since arriving over a decade ago.
With his contract expiring in June, there are conflicting reports over whether he will stay or go this summer. What’s clear is, judging by his displays under Ancelotti and the projects surrounding him, he has more to give in the Spanish capital—and much more where it all started.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As we celebrate Pride Month, you've probably noticed "pride" displays of merchandise at big retailers.Those dollars don't often support c
Taipei, Taiwan – For decades, Hong Kong has advertised the rule of law as the cornerstone of the city’s success as an international business hub. These days
This week, the University of Colorado Boulder served as the site of the second annual Conscious Entrepreneur Summit, a conference promoting personal growth and
NORTHAMPTON — In the ongoing attempts to revitalize the city’s downtown, local nonprofits and the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce have pitched in t