While it’s not exactly a common occurrence for us to feature obscure eastern European wildlife documentaries on Pies, the snippet we’re about to show you is – at least if the accreditation is accurate – of proper footballing interest.
The following is a clip from a 1990 film about wolf attacks on sheep, goats and cattle that was shot in the craggy Velebit mountains around the small town of Jasenice in Zadar, a region in southern Croatia.
According to the filmmaker Pavle Balenovic, it also just so happens that a future World Cup final star appears in the footage.
Indeed, Balenovic claims that the five-year-old boy seen herding his family’s goats through the stony hills is indeed none other than Luka Modric…
Balenovic mentions the film was made in 1989/1990 and later sold to the BBC, though it was never published.
Describing the footage of Modric and his first meetings with the family, Balenovic wrote:
The Modric family, they used to be quite decent, nice people. I visited them whenever I went filming the wildlife in the mountains.
Soon after 1990, the war destroyed their home. Everything suddenly changed and I never saw them again. They went like many people from that area.
And then, just a few years ago, I got information about who the little boy helped my dad in my episode? That boy became a famous Croatian soccer player – Luka Modric.
He hasn’t seen these shots (taken back in 1989-1990) because this is the first time they are published.
Luka Modric, who spent whole his childhood in the wolf habitat and whole the younger generations after him must be proud of that fact.
How amazing. It all makes sense now – Modric’s rise to the very top. Turns out he was steeped in the midfield arts at a young age, setting the tempo for his cohorts (goats) and breaking down attacks (from wolves) with his life on the line.
Here’s the full documentary, should you wish to indulge…