Young Tottenham starlet Harry Winks has described playing against his boyhood hero Luka Modric as 'special', after the two went head to head in the centre of midfield on Tuesday night in the Champions League.
Winks was only 12 when Modric signed for Spurs back in 2008, and he became an idol for the academy player as he progressed through the ranks.
In spite of such admiration, Winks was unflustered on the night, delivering an assured performance at the Bernabeu against one of the best midfields in the history of world football.
The up and coming English midfielder told Sky Sports: "When I was coming through the academy at a young age he [Modric] was someone I always used to watch at White Hart Lane,"
"I still admire him to this day - he's a fantastic, world-class player. To play against him was special.
"Him and [Toni] Kroos, they are two world-class players, players I look up to, so when you go on the pitch with them it's easy to get a little bit daunted by it.
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"But I try to take all that away from it, treat it like any normal game and just go for them as I would any other player. Being on the pitch with them you realise their quality and just how good they are."
Winks was also effusive in his praise for club captain Hugo Lloris, after the Frenchmen put together a string of incredible saves to deny Madrid throughout the game - the pick of which was was an astounding block with his feet to reject Karim Benzema's header from point-blank range.
"He is world class, one of the best 'keepers in the world," Winks added. "The Benzema chance, the way he saved it I will never know.
"He makes saves not many people can which is why he's up there with the best 'keepers in the world."