Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric has credited former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp with changing the Croatian’s role for the better.
In a ceremony on Monday, Modric was handed the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player to win the award other Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo since 2007.
Modric spent four years at Spurs before moving to Real Madrid in 2012, where he has won four Champions League titles.
He initially found the adjustment to life in England difficult, mostly playing on the left and struggling to make an impact as Tottenham made a dreadful start to the 2008/09 season.
But his performances improved when Redknapp took over from Juande Ramos, and Modric believes the decision Redknapp made to drop him deeper had a big effect on his career.
“Change of position helped me a lot in my career. I used to play more offensively,” Modric said (via BBC Sport).
“When I dropped back, I was able to read the game better and show my creativity. Harry Redknapp made that change.”
Modric received more votes than his closest competitors Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann to win the Ballon d’Or.
Kylian Mbappe came fourth while Messi was surprisingly fifth. Harry Kane was voted the 10th best player on the talent.