Real Madrid’s victory in the final of the Champions League against Liverpool rounded off a series of ten years that Croatian footballers have won this elite competition.
Going back a decade Croatian footballers have been involved in lifting the Champions League, it all started with Bayern Munich and the ten years ended again with Real Madrid. Luka Modrić, at age 36, lifted the Champions League trophy after Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1 – 0 with a goal from Vinicius Junior in the 59th minute.
The ten-year series of Croatians winning the Champions League started in 2013 when Mario Mandžukić, as a Bayern Munich player, won the Champions League trophy. A year later, Luka Modrić and Real Madrid celebrated, followed by Ivan Rakitic and Barcelona.
Three years in a row followed in which Real was the best, and Luka Modrić and Mateo Kovačić played (2016, 2017 and 2018). Dejan Lovren and Liverpool were the best in 2019, followed by Ivan Perišić and Bayern in 2020, while last year Mateo Kovačić and Chelsea won the title. A truly incredible run of results for Croatia and Croatian football.
“There are just 4 million people in Croatia, and what they’ve done over the years, time and time again, is produce not only great players, but great teams,” commented the former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel. “They just produce such great players, and no one better thgan Modrić,” added Schmeichel.
And this last ten years of fame isn’t the only Croatian glory in the Champions League, some other legends of the game have also picked up the most coveted trophy in world football. Alen Bokšić (Marseille, 1993), Zvonimir Boban (Milan, 1994), Davor Šuker (Real Madrid, 1998), Darijo Šimić (Milan, 2003 and 2007) and Igor Bišćan (Liverpool, 2005).