Luka Modric has revealed his regret about the manner in which he departed Tottenham Hotspur back in 2012.
The diminutive midfielder eventually left White Hart Lane to join Spanish giants Real Madrid, but not before he had soured his legacy somewhat by attempting to force through a move to rivals Chelsea the previous summer.
Now, the Croatian has spoken about his continuing affection for Tottenham and why he rues not adding trophies to the many memories he holds from his time in North London.
“My one regret is that I didn’t win a trophy with Tottenham, despite us being a strong team who played good, attractive football,” Modric told FourFourTwo.
“I’m sorry for the way I left. I wish we had parted in a nicer way. I hope fans understand that I followed my dreams.
“My emotions when I think about the time I spent at Spurs are always really positive.
“Tottenham is the club that first gave me my opportunity to play in one of the strongest leagues in the world.”
Modric joined Tottenham from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008 and played a major role, alongside the likes of current Los Blancos team-mate Gareth Bale, in laying the foundations for a more ambitious and successful Spurs side.
Spurs had finished 11th in the Premier League the season before he arrived, but with the playmaker in the team they never ended a campaign lower than eighth.
Indeed, in his final three seasons Tottenham managed successive finishes of fourth, fifth and fourth, establishing themselves as part of the newly formed ‘big six’ in England’s top flight.
He ended his Spurs career with a record of 17 goals and 27 assists in 160 appearances across all competitions.
With Madrid, Modric has gone on to achieve enormous success, winning three Champions League titles and a La Liga championship amongst numerous other trophies.
The 32-year-old will have the honour of captaining Croatia at this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.
For Tottenham fans, there is still a feeling of reticence when Modric’s name is mentioned and his message to the supporters may well fall on deaf ears.
A sublimely gifted footballer, the Croatian’s arrival at Spurs seemingly came a few years too early – as with Mauricio Pochettino’s men now challenging for honours, he could have been an important member of the current side.