And after winning the Ballon d'Or, the 33-year-old midfielder's past has come to light in revealing documentary footage.
Filmmaker Pavle Balenovic uploaded one of his projects – taken between 1989 and 1990 – to YouTube and discovered a five-year old goat herder was in fact a young Modric.
Balenovic explained: "From my childhood I was impressed by nature and animals.
"I admired the wild animals, wolves especially.
"As I started to travel, I gathered a decent knowledge and experience.
"I met people from the places where wolves lived.
"Down to the south by the old stone road the house of Modric was located.
"The Modric family, they used to be quite decent, nice people. I visited them whenever I went filming the wildlife in the mountains.
"So I took the shots of my friend and his son collecting their herd of goats, closing the pen and some scenes directed as it was planned for editing a wolf documentary.
"It was back in 1990 just a while before the war destroyed their home.
"The war changed everything and I haven’t seen any more. They moved away.
"Then just a few years ago I got some information on who the small boy collecting his father's herd in my episode is.
"That boy became a famous Croatian soccer player – Luka Modric.
"He haven't seen these shots because this is the first time they are published.
"After the war a lot of mines were left what destroyed the image of whole the mountain area. Today the area changed even more."
Modric's grandfather and namesake was executed when the ace was just six and he spent many of his early years living in a hotel after his home was destroyed.
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