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Official: Luka Modric starts for Croatia vs Japan – WC RO16



Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images

On Sunday, two Real Madrid stars in Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga booked their place in the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Now, Los Blancos’ veteran Luka Modric will also look to do the same when he leads his Croatia team against Japan in their Round of 16 tie later today.

The European nation earned a passage through to the knockout stages of the World Cup following their hard-earned goalless draw against Belgium in their final group game.

Modric, as was the case four years ago in Russia, has been one of Croatia’s standout performers yet again and will again have a crucial role to play.

The 37-year-old will be partnered by former Real Madrid star Mateo Kovacic in midfield, along with Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic.

Bruno Petkovic, Andrej Kramaric and Ivan Perisic form the attacking unit for the Vatreni while the defence will be headlined by Dejan Lovren and Josko Gvardiol, who recently admitted that he would be open to a Real Madrid switch in the future.

Borna Barisic and Josip Juranovic line up as the two full-backs for Croatia against Japan while Dominik Livakovic starts in goal.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid could be in trouble with RFEF if too many Spanish players leave



It is astounding that despite being the biggest club in Spain, Real Madrid do not have many Spanish players to show for it.

Los Blancos do indeed boast of a special diversity in the dressing room, but their lack of locally trained players could pose problems according to MARCA.

The Spanish outlet confirms that UEFA does not mandate the inclusion of any minimum number of locally grown players for a club. However, the Spanish federation stipulates that a club in Spain must boast of at least eight players who meet a specific set of conditions.

Of the aforementioned eight candidates, there must be at least four players who have spent three seasons or 36 months at the club between the ages of 15 and 21.

Currently, only Nacho Fernandez, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez, Federico Valverde, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Mariano make up the required number on that front.

The problem, however, arises with the condition for the other four players in the list of eight. RFEF stipulates that the second set of four players must have completed at least 36 months in teams attached to the federation of Spain between the ages of 15 and 21.

Only Jesus Vallejo, Alvaro Odriozola, Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos tick the aforementioned box. However, all four players have uncertain futures at the club and are well-placed to depart in the summer.

There are thus big decisions to be taken over the transfer strategy for June. Real Madrid can work ways to ship all four players out, it would require the re-integration of players like Sergio Arribas, Miguel Gutierrez or Fran Garcia to ensure the fulfilment of the criteria.

With both Vallejo and Odriozola seemingly frozen out of Ancelotti’s plans, their departures from Santiago Bernabeu appear inevitable. Thus, the management could be forced to renew one of Asensio or Ceballos come June.

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