Tottenham Hotspur's Croatian midfielder Luka Modric could play a vital role for his country during the forthcoming 2012 European Championships, scheduled to take place between 8 June and 1 July, in Poland and Ukraine. The 26 year old playmaker, who is often tasked and credited with initiating Croatia's attacking moves, has flourished since his transfer from Dinamo Zagreb to Spurs.
Modric, along with Welsh winger Gareth Bale and Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, has played a crucial role in Spurs season to date and was the subject of a £40 million bid (rejected by club chairman Daniel Levy) from Chelsea, last summer.
However, due to the club's poor run of recent form, which saw them drop from third in the league to fifth, Spurs manager Harry Redknapp has finally admitted Modric may be leaving the club in the summer.
"He is a wonderful player and has that gift of creating space out of nothing. He is also a superb example to other players, never a moment's trouble. I have been so blessed working with him, and the other Croatians Niko Kranjcar and Vedran Corluka at this club. They are outstanding players and people," a Guardian report quoted Redknapp as saying.
Meanwhile, Modric will have considerable responsibility on his shoulders ahead of the summer's tournament, as Croatia have been placed in a tough group, alongside defending champions Spain, Italy and Ireland.
The midfielder, who made his debut at the age of 20 against Argentina, was immediately selected for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where Croatia were knocked out of the group stages.
Modric, who won three back-to-back domestic league titles as well as two cups with Dinamo, rose to prominence in the 2008 European Championships where Croatia made it to the quarter finals. They were eliminated in a dramatic penalty shootout after they conceded an equaliser in the dying minutes of extra time. They did however beat Germany in the tournament.
His most impressive match of the competition was his very first game, where he scored a key goal (a penalty) against Austria, giving the Croatians a perfect start to the competition. According to an earlier Telegraph report, Modric was widely regarded as Croatia's best player and was described as being full of confidence and determination. Also, according to a 2008 Mirror Football report, Slaven Bilić (Croatia manager) rated his star as being better than Brazilian playmaker Kaka.
Although the defeat came as a heavy blow to Modric, who was one of the few to miss his spot kick, it did not affect his morale and confidence as he continued to play well at White Hart Lane. Modric, who is now known for his energy-filled sprints, composure, vision, long-rang passes and ability to shoot with both feet, is one of the most sought after players in the Premier League with big clubs such as Manchester United and Chelsea keen on signing him.