Real Madrid News
Barcelona defender lavishes praise on Real Madrid forward: “He is spectacular”
Barcelona and Real Madrid have been involved in some high-octane encounters this season, with the two perennial rivals meeting each other twice already in all competitions.
One of the talking points in the two El Clasicos we have witnessed this season is how Barcelona have approached when it comes to defending against the threat of Vinicius Jr, who is widely considered one of the most dangerous wingers in the world right now.
In the last match, for example, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez fielded Ronald Araujo in the right-back position to defend against Vinicius.
The Uruguayan international did not disappoint either, putting up a solid performance that helped Barcelona secure a 3-1 win in the Supercopa de Espana final.
With the two teams set to lock horns once again next month, Araujo has heaped praise on Vinicius, labelling the Brazilian as someone who is difficult to defend against.
“Vinicius is spectacular. I like him a lot, he’s difficult to defend against but I’m glad we were able to defend him well in the last game,” said Araujo (h/t Gerard Romero), who has been performing extremely well for Barcelona since returning from his injury.
The Uruguayan international has been a mainstay in the Barcelona backline that has kept six clean sheets out of seven competitive matches since the Catalans beat Real Madrid in the Supercup.
However, Barça and Araujo’s job is set to get more difficult as the Catalan entity prepare for a tough games against Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League before they eventually take on Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey, at the start of next month.
It will be an excellent opportunity for Vinicius to exact revenge on Araujo and help Real Madrid move one step closer to securing a berth in the final of Copa Del Rey.
Real Madrid News
Canadian international says playing against Luka Modric was a ‘lesson’ for him
Real Madrid are blessed to have the services and loyalty of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. The duo have run the show in the Merengues’ midfield for close to a decade and continue to deliver flawless performances to date.
Of the two, however, it is the Croatian who deserves the higher credit. The veteran is now 37 years of age, yet dominates the middle of the park with grace and poise like none other.
Stephen Estuaqio, an FC Porto player and Canada International, spoke earlier this week about why he considered Luka Modric to be a special player and compared him with Kevin de Bruyne to support his stance.
“I played against De Bruyne, but I ran behind Modrić. I couldn’t play against him. It’s crazy how he dictates the game and controls everything. It was a lesson for me,” he said on The 90th minute on Youtube.
With his contract running out next season, Real Madrid are looking to renew his deal by one year come June. Yet, it is difficult to see him continue beyond next season and his imminent departure will mark the end of an era at the club.
Thus, Modric could be an altered role come next season. With a young midfielder, possibly Jude Bellingham set to arrive, the veteran could move into a mentorship role with the occasional appearance in big games.
This season, however, Carlo Ancelotti will continue to use him as one of the backbones of the side and deploy the maestro in the must-win fixtures coming up later this month.
At 37 years of age, Modric has started 16 La Liga games over 24 appearances this season in the competition. He has scored four goals and provided three assists in that process in addition to creating eight big chances with an average of 1.8 key passes per game.