Modric backed for Ballon d'Or

Modric, 32, has been a model for consistency at the highest level for Real over the past five seasons - winning 14 major trophies as a key figure in their midfield.

A technically gifted midfielder that's able to dictate the tempo the game and with long-range shooting ability with either foot, the diminutive midfielder further enhanced his reputation with a dominant performance in the 3-0 win over Argentina last week.

And his international teammate Dejan Lovren firmly believes he's ranked up there with football's elite and he would surely have been in contention for Ballon d'Or if he represented a more illustrious nation than Croatia.

"It is a real pleasure to play with Luka Modric, who is one of the best players in the world right now," he said during a Sunday news conference.

"Modric would probably be getting more attention than he is right now if he was a German or Spanish player. He would maybe even be a Ballon d’Or winner.

"Because we are a smaller country, he does get less attention than he deserves.

"All football lovers know Modric is an incredible player. He is one of the best in the world right now."