Luka Modric is about as quiet as they come off the pitch, but his recently released autobiography has created a bit of a stir that is totally out of line with his usual composure.
The Croatian has played with some truly amazing players down the years, especially in his long spell at Real Madrid, but none can match Cristiano Ronaldo for greatness.
But even the very best sometimes can be pushed too far, as Modric reveals in his book, as quoted today by the Daily Mail.
Jose Mourinho was the boss at Madrid between 2010 and 2013, and inspired Ronaldo to an incredible 168 goals in 164 matches in that period. But it wasn’t all through being nice, as Modric explains:
“I was surprised by Mourinho’s reaction. We were winning 2-0 in the Copa del Rey. Ronaldo did not chase the rivals on his throw-in and Jose was furious with Cristiano,” the former Spurs man relates.
“The two fought for a long time on the field. After returning to the locker room at half-time, I saw Ronaldo desperate, on the verge of tears. He said ‘I do my best and he continues to criticise me.’
“Mourinho came in and began to criticise the Portuguese for this responsibility during the game. They became so hot that only the intervention of the team-mates avoided a real fight between them.”
Mourinho’s “tough love” philosophy is well known at this point, but it’s amazing to hear he even deploys in on players as good and as hard working as Ronaldo.
In any case, it’s clear from the trophies they won together and the goals Ronaldo scored that the approached worked, even on him.