Luka Modrić, the world-renowned Croatian soccer player, was born in a small village at the foot of Velebit mountain in Zaton Obrovački. Today, the village is nothing more than a ruin, having been set on fire by Serbian aggressors during the war. Despite this, it has become a popular tourist attraction for fans of Modrić and his team, the “fiery” as they call him.
Recently, three Chinese women arrived in Croatia to watch Modrić and his team play against Armenia. They were so excited to visit Luka’s birthplace that they thought it would be a museum or some sort of special exhibit. However, they were met with an ordinary ruin instead.
Despite their initial disappointment, the women were still enthusiastic about seeing where Luka grew up and decided to take a tour of the stadium where he started his football journey. Unfortunately, they encountered another obstacle: a padlock on the door to the stadium. The owner of a local travel agency, Teo Kanjer from “Dalma Travel,” saw their enthusiasm and decided to take them through the stadium himself.
As they walked through the stadium grounds, one of the women recognized a place from Modrić’s biography: an old parking lot where he spent some time as a boy. She excitedly told Kanjer that she had read about it in his biography and was thrilled to see it firsthand.
Kanjer was impressed by their knowledge and passion for Modrić and decided to take them to one final destination: Zadar’s famous “Iž” hotel where Luka spent some time during his exile days as a boy. The hotel has since been demolished but it is still remembered fondly by locals as an important part of Zadar’s history and culture.
The women were thrilled with their tour and expressed their gratitude to Kanjer for showing them around despite the challenges they faced along the way. As they left Croatia with memories that would last a lifetime, it was clear that Modrić’s impact on both soccer and popular culture extends far beyond just his impressive playing abilities on the field.