JAMIE REDKNAPP: Luka Modric is the best midfielder in the world

Mighty Luka Modric is the best midfielder in the world and now he is getting the recognition he deserves

The day after lost to Barcelona in the final at Wembley in 2011, my dad received a call from Sir Alex Ferguson. He wanted to sign Luka Modric.

Xavi and Iniesta had raised the bar for midfielders. The best had to be players who could take the ball off either foot, dribble and pass through the lines.

Having seen just how impressive those two were against United, Sir Alex identified Modric as the player to take his team forward.

He would eventually leave Tottenham for Real Madrid the next year but only a few months after arriving at the Bernabeu he was voted La Liga‘s worst signing of the season by Spanish fans.

It has always frustrated me that Modric has been so underrated. It is only when he adds goals to his game — such as his sensational strike against Argentina — that the rest of his game gets the recognition it deserves.

Xavi and Iniesta have not exactly been prolific in front of goal. Critics have also argued that Modric does not make enough assists but that is not how he should be judged.

Modric makes the pass that makes the pass. His vision and technical ability create space for a team-mate to set up a goal.

When your team are under the cosh, there is no better player to handle the pressure. Modric is always willing to receive the ball and will keep hold of it to take the sting out of the game. That is the mark of a brave player.

When he first came to Tottenham, the pace and intensity of the Premier League took him by surprise but he adapted quickly.

He is now comfortable playing in a midfield two or even as a No 10. He ran the show for Real Madrid against Liverpool in last month‘s Champions League final and did so again to defeat Argentina.

While Jorge Sampaoli had a team of individuals, you could see the Croatia players all pulling together with Modric at the centre.

How far Croatia can go in Russia remains to be seen. What is certain is that any floating voters will have been convinced that Modric is a class act.

He and Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo are the early front-runners for player of the tournament.

For many years Modric has been on top of his game. Right now, he is the best midfield player in the world.