Real Madrid News
Official: Toni Kroos joins Real Madrid squad, available for Liverpool clash
In a huge boost, Real Madrid have officially confirmed that midfielder Toni Kroos is fit again and has travelled to England to join the rest of the squad ahead of the game against Liverpool.
The 33-year-old had been left out of the initial squad that had travelled to Liverpool for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg tie as he had not fully recovered from gastroenteritis.
The same issue had led to Kroos missing the La Liga matches against Elche and Osasuna, and with the midfielder not training on the eve of the game tonight, he had been ruled out and left behind in France.
But, in a major boost, Kroos has recovered sufficiently and has already flown to England to join up with the rest of the squad.
“Toni Kroos has been named in Real Madrid’s squad for tonight’s Champions League last-16 first-leg clash with Liverpool. The German joins the list of players available to Carlo Ancelotti for the match at Anfield,” the statement from the club read.
Providing an update on the matter, journalist Arancha Rodriguez claimed that Kroos spoke to Carlo Ancelotti and the medical staff early in the morning today and had joined the team by afternoon. He is in a very good condition and in contention to play later tonight.
It will be interesting to see whether manager Ancelotti decides to thrust Kroos into the thick of things right away or prefers to keep the German on the bench, considering that he has not played in the last two games and did not train with the team yesterday.
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.