The midfield trident of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro has served Real Madrid brilliantly for years together now.
They have been crucial to the UEFA Champions League success that Los Blancos enjoyed under Zinedine Zidane and have continued to perform at the highest level even this season.
Modric is 36 years old but continues to be a pillar of strength and poise in the middle of the park for Real Madrid. Kroos, who turned 32 in January, has had injury problems but still continues to dictate tempo in matches with his distribution.
As for Casemiro, he has not played at his highest level at times this term, but few are better than the Brazilian at what he does in the middle of the park.
There have been a lot of speculations about Real Madrid wanting to sign a new midfielder this summer to slowly phase out the senior members of their midfield department. AS Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni has been mentioned as a top target for the Spanish champions-elect.
However, according to the latest report from Sergio Santos of AS, Real Madrid hold an interest in the 22-year-old but do not intend to go all out for his signing, as manager Carlo Ancelotti believes that he will, at most, be a backup next season.
This is because the Italian tactician sees the trio of Modric, Casemiro and Kroos as regular starters for Real Madrid again in the upcoming campaign despite their advancing age.
In addition to that, Real Madrid also have Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga as options while Dani Ceballos is also likely to stay put. The Spaniard has made a big impression on the manager, leading to the club making an U-turn on his future and deciding to retain him.
It would mean that Real Madrid will have six central midfielders in the first-team squad, which is why they will not push hard to sign Tchouameni and only look to get him if he is available for a reasonable price.
As for Modric, Casemiro and Kroos, it seems like they will continue to play a critical role in the side come 2022/23.
Inter Milan star claims he is the best playmaker in the world, ahead of Real Madrid superstar
Hakan Calhanoglu raised many eyebrows in the summer of 2021 when he left AC Milan to join arch-rivals Inter Milan on a free transfer.
It was a move that surprised many, but more than two and a half years later, Calhanoglu’s acquisition has turned out to be a masterstroke from Inter Milan’s end.
During his time at Inter, the former HSV starlet has featured in 125 competitive matches, racking up 23 goals and 24 assists. He has eclipsed his AC Milan numbers, which is quite a feat to achieve.
Calhanoglu hails himself as the best playmaker
Hakan Calhanoglu’s performances have been particularly impressive in the ongoing campaign. The midfielder has been involved in 14 goals this term, including 11 goals.
In light of his performances, Calhanoglu has raised eyebrows by hailing himself as the best playmaker in the world, in a recent interview.
“I’m the best playmaker right now,” Calhanoglu said, shortly after Inter Milan’s narrow 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid.
Calhanoglu ranks Toni Kroos as the ‘next best’ after him and Rodri
The Turkish international went on to name a few more players who he thinks are the best playmakers after him.
Calhanoglu notably mentioned Real Madrid superstar Toni Kroos, stating (h/t DAZN), “After me Rodri, then Toni Kroos, Kimmich and Enzo Fernández.”
The Turk’s decision to add Kroos to his list is highly surprising as the German maestro has been quite important to the Real Madrid team this season.
Even at the of 34, Kroos has remained an integral part of the Real Madrid midfield. His experience and leadership have been crucial in guiding an otherwise young midfield unit.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for another veteran Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.
The Croat is reportedly unhappy with his current role in the first team and is likely to leave Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season.