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Mandžukić beats Modrić to Croatian gong

Sunday 30 December 2012 19.40 CET
Mario Mandžukić celebrates with Croatia captain Darijo Srna after scoring against Italy

FC Bayern München forward Mario Mandžukić reflected on his "most successful season yet" after he was elected Croatian player of the year.

The 26-year-old collected 104 points in the 41st edition of the poll run by newspaper Večernji list, finishing just ahead of Real Madrid CF midfielder Luka Modrić on 93. "This award means a lot to me and will motivate me to do even better – my best is still to come," he said. "My moment of the year was EURO 2012, I think about it a lot. That atmosphere and emotion was something special."

Indeed, Mandžukić illuminated Croatia's campaign in Poland and Ukraine, even if his three goals were not enough for them to advance from the group stage. By the end of that tournament he had sealed a switch from VfL Wolfsburg to Bayern where the goals have continued to flow, with nine goals in 15 Bundesliga appearances for Germany's runaway leaders.

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