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Luka Modric signs with Real Madrid

Luka Modric completed his transfer to Real Madrid, signing a five-year contract Monday with the Spanish champions.

"I'm very happy, honored and proud to be at the biggest and best club in the world. I'm very excited," Modric said.

The 26-year-old Croatian playmaker made 160 appearances for Spurs, scoring 17 goals, and moves from Tottenham for a fee reported to be 33 million pounds ($52.2 million).

"I chose the Spanish league because it's one of the best leagues in the world," he said at a news conference at the Bernabeu on Monday afternoon.

"And I chose Madrid because they are the best club in the world. They've won so many things, so many titles. It's amazing for me to be here."

Tottenham loses one of the Barclays Premier League's most creative players, who had also been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea during the past year.

Modric joined Tottenham from Dinamo Zagreb in 2008 and was highly influential under former manager Harry Redknapp.

With Modric pulling the strings, Spurs secured two top-four finishes in the Barclays Premier League and qualified for the Champions League for the first time in 2010.

"Luka has been a terrific player for us," Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said.

The clubs have also agreed to a new partnership that will see them work together in respect to players, coaches and commercial relationships.

"While we preferred not to part with Luka, we are pleased that it is to Real Madrid, a club with which we now look forward to sharing a long and productive partnership," Levy said.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez welcomed the decision for the clubs to work more closely together.

"The strong relationship and affinity between our two clubs has resulted in the cementing of a longer-term partnership and the successful transfer of Luka Modric," he said.

"We are delighted to welcome Luka and look forward to working closely with Tottenham in the coming years."

The money raised from Modric will fund Spurs' pursuit of Brazilians Willian of Shakhtar Donetsk and Internacional's Leandro Damiao.

Willian was left out of Shakhtar's squad Sunday for its league game against Karpaty, with coach Mircea Lucescu revealing he was not in the right frame of mind.

"Does anyone of you believe that in his current situation his head produces thoughts in the direction of right thinking?" he said to the press.

"I wouldn't like him to play and suffer an injury today, but this could happen. He will have some rest, and then we will see what to do with him.

"We have a week before the transfer window closes, during which, perhaps, everything will be solved."


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