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Champions League elite: Luka Modrić joins football legends with record appearances

10. April 2024
(foto: Getty Images)
In a thrilling Champions League quarterfinal match that ended in a 3-3 draw between Real Madrid and Manchester City, Luka Modrić, the captain of the Croatian national team, was in the game's dramatic moments.

Coming on as a substitute in the 71st minute for Toni Kroos, Modrić's entrance significantly shifted the match's momentum in Real Madrid's favor. In his brief appearance, Modrić showcased his exceptional skill with 31 touches, an 88% pass completion rate, including one key pass, won all his duels, and made a crucial interception. Beyond the statistics, Modrić's impact was palpable, influencing the game's rhythm and demonstrating his invaluable presence on the field.     

This appearance marked Modrić's 124th in the Champions League, placing him among the competition's most seasoned players. With this match, Modrić has joined the ranks of football legends such as Zlatan Ibrahimović, Paul Scholes, and Gianluigi Buffon in the top 20 players by appearances in Champions League history. Holding the 16th position alongside these giants, Modrić is just one game short of entering the top 15, a spot currently occupied by Clarence Seedorf. Notably, no other Croatian has surpassed 100 appearances in the league, with Ivan Rakitić and Mateo Kovačić being the closest to this milestone. 

Among Real Madrid players, only four have more Champions League appearances than Modrić, with Iker Casillas leading the pack. Modrić's contribution to Real Madrid's European campaigns has been monumental, further solidifying his legacy as one of the club's all-time greats and a pivotal figure in Croatian football.

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