Four defenders are attempting to keep up with him, with another just behind him and two more to his left. It’s a 7-on-1 situation, and none of them can catch him. He stands on the outskirts of the penalty area, just to the right of a player, but that’s not the ball he wants to play, despite convincing the defence that it is. When everyone else was losing their minds, he saw the pass and played it. Panic followed by chaos, he had taken out seven men with a single flick of his foot.

You might be wondering who I’m referring to as you read this. Who is the craziest player to do this twice in nine seconds? Is the player in his prime? a young talent looking to establish themselves? Let me tell you that it was none other than Real Madrid’s 36-year-old outstanding midfielder Luka Modric who extended his contract this summer. The entire football community, not just Luka, delighted at the prospect of witnessing another season of his on-field brilliance. Luka will be 37 in September, but he appears to be ageing backwards on the field.

Few players his age have been able to compete at the highest level. Modric, on the other hand, does it for both club and country. There isn’t a single matchday that he doesn’t appear in the lineup, and his absence is evident if he isn’t starting.

Let us take a step back for a moment and consider Luka Modric on a broader scale. For the past decade, football has been the Ronaldo/Messi show. But, at the end of the day, only one player on the planet other than Ronaldo or Messi has won the Ballon d’Or since 2008, and that player’s name is Luka Modric. There aren’t many Ballon d’Or winners among midfielders. When you think about it, that is completely insane. The great Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were dethroned by a Croatian, who led a nation of 4.5 million people to the World Cup Final.