Last night, Luka Modric was named FIFA player of the year. The same Luka Modric that was deemed not good enough for Newcastle.
The Croatian midfielder has had the best year of his career. He picked up another Champions League winners medal, then captained Croatia to a World Cup final.
Meanwhile, Newcastle fans are wondering what might have been.
What really happened with Modric?
The story of Newcastle and Modric is well documented, but has came to light with the reemergence of former manager Kevin Keegan.
Speaking at an event, Keegan relived the Magpies’ failure to bring in the talented playmaker.
It was 2008, and the Dinamo Zagreb midfielder was linked with moves to both Tottenham and Newcastle, and there was a chance that the player would pick a move up north. However, Tony Jimenez, Dennis Wise’s right-hand man, sharp ended that dream.
“Mr Jimenez said I’ve watched him, I don’t think he is big enough or strong enough to play in the Premier League,” Keegan said at the event.
Of course, he was big enough and strong enough to play in the Premier League.
In fact, he was so good that Real Madrid came calling in 2012, and since then he’s got better and better.
At the FIFA football awards, the 33-year-old won the top honour available. Modric beat off the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Mo Salah to win footballer of the year.
What did Newcastle fans have to say?
Luca Modric is never big enough or strong enough is win FIFA’s best player award.
— NUFCThreatLevel (@NUFCThreatLevel) September 24, 2018
If Modric had of signed for #NUFC he would probably not have progressed and instead of winning FIFA best player would be a bit part player for Watford now
— Graham Ball (@DonBaldini) September 25, 2018
So Modric wins best player in the World but Ashleys advisors told Kevin Keegan that he wasn’t good enough for Newcastle. Couldn’t make it up. #NUFC
— Paul Edwards (@Paul9Edwards) September 24, 2018
Tony Jimenez told Kevin Keegan that Luka Modric was not good enough to play for Newcastle United or in the Premier League, despite a deal being agreed. He instead signed for Tottenham.
— Adam (@adamtweets85) September 24, 2018
I’m surprised Luka Modric won that FIFA award. Bit small isn’t he? #nufc
— The Spectator’s View (@thespectoview) September 24, 2018
What a joke Luka Modric getting FIFA player of the year.
The guy wasnt even good enough to play for Newcastle.
— Black n White Army (@nufc_No9) September 24, 2018