Gifolution: Luka Modric, Croatian Talisman
It's cool to watch Modric's radar change from year to year, as he gets placed in new roles with different responsibilities. The two best years on display here are arguably his last season with Tottenham and his first season with Real Madrid. They are also two of the finest seasons you will ever see from a central midfielder in terms of stats, but much like Modric himself, they went largely unheralded in the broader media.
His role shifted a bit with Real Madrid this season, as Carlo Ancelotti used him as more a game controller and less an attacking dynamo, but with the shift in roles also came the club game's biggest prize, a Champions League medal.
Modric and Rakitic make up arguably the finest central midfielder pairing you will see on display at the World Cup.