Luka Modric has left a long shadow at Tottenham Hotspur. Once Spurs' record signing, the Croatian midfielder very quickly became one of the best players to wear a Tottenham shirt in the past decade, and his incisive passing and control of midfield very quickly established him as one of the best midfielders of the Premier League. A star on Spurs' sole Champions League season in 2010-11, Modric was heavily targeted by Chelsea, but after a couple of contentious offseasons he eventually was sold to Real Madrid in 2012 for £30m.
Now four years after leaving the Premier League, Modric sat down for an interview with the BBC where he talked in part about his years at Spurs. In particular, he noted how much he enjoyed his time at Tottenham and the love he received from the fan base.
I had four great years [with] Tottenham, and I enjoyed my time there. I had support from everyone, and from the fans especially, and I will always be grateful for all the love that they showed me during those years...
I follow [Tottenham] a lot. Whenever I can I watch them play. They're playing really well, amazing. They have a good coach and they're very close to winning the league. I wish them all the best and I'll cross my fingers for them to win it. I think they're capable of it because they're playing really good football.
Harry Kane was a skinny teenager when Modric was bossing Spurs' midfield, and while Luka didn't admit to really knowing Kane well, he did note that Kane was always a hard worker and was noticed for (under)dressing in cold weather training sessions.
At that time, to be honest, no [Kane wasn't on my radar]. You could see that he was a hard worker in training. Sometimes he used to come to training in short sleeves and outside it was -5º C! [laughs] I saw at the time that he was a very hard worker, and you can see now on the pitch that he's still working so hard, and his work is paying off.
Luka's blocked transfer to Chelsea and his eventual sale to Real Madrid felt extremely contentious at the time, but looking back on it it's clear that allowing him to move on to one of the biggest clubs in the world was the right decision for his development as a professional. He's moved on from being one of the best midfielders in the Premier League to one of the best midfielders in the world, but it's super nice to know that he still loves Spurs and apparently doesn't hold any grudges from his time in the Redknapp era. You'll always be welcome back home, Pigeon.