What’s the meaning of require: ‘ngModel’?

[Origin]: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/20930592/whats-the-meaning-of-require-ngmodel

This is the HTML for my directive:

<textarea data-modal="modal" data-mydir ng:model="abc"></textarea>

In my directive I have this:

return {
        require: 'ngModel',
        replace: true,
        scope: {
            modal: '=modal',
            ngModel: '=',
            pid: '=pid'
        },

Can someone tell me, what’s the significance of require: ‘ngModel’ ? I see this in many different directives. Could I call this data-modal?

I am confused because when I change it to data-modal I get a message from Angular saying

Controller 'ngModel', required by directive 'textarea', can't be found!

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