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He Real Madrid four o’clock Champions League in five years I could have written very different pages had I not had Luka Modric between their ranks. The midfielder was very close to signing for Chelsea and even maintained very close contact with Roman abramovich. But in the end it ended up in the Tottenham and the rest is football history.
The autobiography of Golden Ball 2018 goes on sale this week and The Guardian has rescued the passage in which he speaks of his frustrated arrival at Stamford Bridge. The Croatian international was ready to start his summer vacation after finishing the 2010/2011 season. Then his agents called him and told him that Chelsea wanted to sign him.
“I was open to the idea of moving, but then things happened at lightning speed,” says the now Real Madrid footballer. He took a private jet, along with his agent, from Zadar to Cannes. Their management team awaited them there, and from there to an episode that could well serve as a script for a spy movie. Absolute secrecy so that the negotiations did not come to light.
“A van with tinted windows took us to Nice, about 30 km away. There we were picked up by the security of Roman Abramovich, who put us on a speedboat and took us to the Chelsea owner’s yacht, “reveals the footballer, who assures that” everything was very exciting. “
“About twenty people, who seemed to be part of the security detachment, received us on the boat. It was fast and well organized. Just as we were settling into one of the luxury decks, Abramovich appeared. He was accompanied by his wife Dasha and their son. I was fascinated by the discreet disappearance of all the security officers just as he arrived. It was obvious that they were well trained, their timing was perfect, “writes Modric in his autobiography.
Meeting with Abramovich
The Chelsea owner made no bones about it: “I had met Abramovich only once before. He was watching Chelsea play Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge and was sitting near their box. This is where we met and exchanged a few words. During our meeting on the Côte d’Azur, he left the impression of being a relaxed and somewhat mysterious person. He didn’t beat around the bush and said: ‘We know you’re a quality player. I’d like you to sign for Chelsea. ‘
Modric was interested in the proposal, if he had not been he would not have made the trip. After three good seasons in the Tottenham and having played the Champions League with the spurs, the current white ’10’ felt that he should take a step forward in his career: “I wanted to fight for trophies and win titles. I felt that this would not happen if I stayed at Tottenham. I wanted to go to a more ambitious club.”
Abramovich then asked him if he believed that Tottenham would put up resistance to the operation and Modric was sincere, he replied that “the negotiations are going to be difficult.” After this, their drinks ran out and after about 20 minutes both Abramovich and his wife “quietly retired to their rooms.
Despite all this, both Luka Modric’s feeling and that of his circle is that Daniel Levy would not “want to hear about it.” The rumors reached the press and the footballer assures that they asked him if it was true that he wanted to leave. The midfielder did not hide and said that “it was time to take a step forward.” All of this “created a lot of fuss.”
Levy came to the fore to say that Modric was not going to leave Tottenham, that “there was no possibility” of letting him go. It was later when the player returned to London and although there were no “harsh words or insults”, he did receive the anger from the owner of the spurs for having said publicly that he wanted to leave.
Goal, Real Madrid
The transfer window closed and Modric continued to play for Tottenham, but the idea of leaving to join a more ambitious project continued in his mind. Levy put in his hands a juicy renovation, which would include a clause to let him go to a club like Real Madrid if he wanted to, but Luka did not want to sign anything.
And the moment arrived, although we had to wait, to see him signing for another club: “I had proven myself as a player. He didn’t know where he would go from Tottenham. I didn’t know if or when Levy would agree to sell me. But he was convinced that it was time to move on, toward a new and bigger challenge. After four wonderful years, during which we felt at home in England, Vanja and I knew that this life was over. “
[Más información – Modric y su compromiso con el Real Madrid: de estar ante su último año a ampliar la leyenda]