Real Madrid News
Luka Modric backs Real Madrid youngster after missed penalty against Croatia
Brazil’s elimination at hands of Croatia in the quarter-final round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup was arguably one of the shocking incidents of the world event. A team, that was at least tipped to reach the semi-final, crashed out after losing to the Luka Modric-led side in penalties.
A game, that ended 1-1 after extra time, saw a certain Dominik Livakovic becoming the hero of the moment. Amidst all the drama, however, it was Modric’s words for Brazil forward Rodrygo that seemed to have captured the hearts of all Madridistas.
The Real Madrid forward was the first Brazilian to take the spot kick and as it turns out, the 21-year-old failed to cross Livakovic. Following the result, Rodrygo was visibly upset and was consoled by his club teammate Luka Modric.
During the post-match interview, Modric was quick to praise the Brazilian, saying that the incident will only make him stronger. Referring to his missed penalty against Turkey during the EURO 2008 quarter-final, the veteran midfielder said,
“I was his age when I missed a crucial penalty in the 2008 Euro,” said the Ballon d’Or winner.
“We have to praise him for having the courage and determination to take the first penalty, that will make him stronger,” he added.
Now that Brazil are out of the World Cup, the likes of Rodrygo, Vinicus Jr and Eder Militao are expected to head home before joining the rest of the teammates to resume club duties.
Meanwhile, as reported before, while the players who haven’t been a part of the World Cup resumed training on December 1, the likes of Karim Benzema and David Alaba will return to the club next Saturday and rejoin training ahead of the resumption of the La Liga season later this month.
Real Madrid resume their La Liga campaign on December 30 with an away game against Real Valladolid
Real Madrid News
Kovacic speaks ahead of Real Madrid vs Chelsea: “Strange to have Modric as a rival”
In less than two weeks, Real Madrid will play hosts to Premier League giants Chelsea in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It is a repeat of last season’s Champions League quarter-final, with the change being that the first leg was played at Stamford Bridge back then, which Real Madrid won triumphantly.
So, even though they lost the second leg 3-2, Los Merengues progressed on aggregate. At one point in the second leg, Real Madrid were 3-0 down and looked to be crashing out of the tournament.
But, that is not how the match played out as Luka Modric produced a moment of magic, sending in a stunning outside-of-the-boot pass for Rodrygo to guide home. That forced the match into extra time and Karim Benzema then scored to seal an aggregate win for his team.
Mateo Kovacic, a former Real Madrid midfielder, was on the losing side with Chelsea on that fateful night. And the Croatian has now spoken to Sportske Novosti, about that moment of magic from Modric last year as well as the prospect of facing Real Madrid again.
“We were good against Real Madrid last year, especially in Madrid. Then Modrić invented that trivela assist for Rodrygo… We have to be at 120% against them. They immediately punish every minor mistake. Although I repeat, we are also a difficult opponent for them, we showed it,“ Kovacic said.
On the prospect of facing his close friend and national teammate Modric, Kovacic added: “[laughs] how the draw arranges it… It won’t be easy for us because Real Madrid is always the most dangerous team in the Champions League.”
“It’s a strange feeling to have Modric as a rival. There were hard fouls last year because neither he nor I pull back. We will fight for sure. I play on the left, he’s on the right, we will see who wants what. But I wouldn’t like to hurt him,” he added.
Chelsea had met Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League during the 2020/21 campaign as well and had managed to eliminate them at the semi-final stages on their way to winning the title.
While the Blues have not been in the best of form this season, they have the star power and quality in their ranks to hurt Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti’s men must be at their best to get through to the next round.