Modric reveals Zidane comments that spurred him on to Ballon d'Or glory

Zinedine Zidane's words in 2016 were key to Luka Modric's surge to the top of world football, the Real Madrid midfielder has said.

Modric credits his Ballon d'Or success to former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.   -  Getty Images

Luka Modric has credited Zinedine Zidane for giving him the confidence to recognise his potential and win maiden Ballon d'Or.

Modric was crowned the world's best player on Monday, ending the 10-year stranglehold of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the coveted trophy.

The Croatia midfielder won three consecutive Champions League titles under Zidane before the 1998 Ballon d'Or winner left the club in the wake of its most recent triumph in Kiev, this May.

READ:Modric, from Croatian war child to Ballon d’Or winner

Modric said, a meeting with Zidane shortly after his arrival in the job in 2016 was key to his surge to the top of world football.

"Here is something I will never forget. When Zinedine Zidane became Real Madrid coach, he called me into his office after training," Modric told France Football.

"He told me how he was seeing me as a player and what he was expecting from me."

"He also told him that he was a very important player for him. And he said that he saw me as a Ballon d'Or winner one day."

"When someone like Zidane, with his personality and his career, says that to you, it gives you a lot of confidence."

"I admired him and I respected him a lot when he was a player."

"He saw me as someone like him, calm and a bit shy. He wanted me to open myself more. He made me a very important piece of the team when the team was playing very well."

"These words from Zidane helped me to go further on the pitch."