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Real Madrid icon won’t retire from national team, confirms manager: “Continues until Euro 2024”



Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images

Luka Modric has not had the greatest of starts to the 2023-24 campaign. The Croatian international started on the bench for Real Madrid’s first three league games and received his first start only in the fourth game against Getafe.

On Saturday at the Santiago Bernabeu, however, Modric was impeccable. The veteran showed that he still had magic in his legs as he single-handedly opened up Jose Bordalas’ team repeatedly.

With the international break scheduled next, there were questions on whether or not the midfielder would continue to play for his National Team. After all, his statements after the Nations League final defeat to Spain were unclear.

But Croatia national team manager Zlatko Dalic spoke to the press (h/t Sportske Novotski) and confirmed Modric’s continuity until next year.

“Luka Modrić continues with us until Euro 2024. His desire was unquestionable.”

“We talked after the Nations League, he decided on his own to continue. I hope [he’ll stay] even further, but we’ll see. Thank you Luka for this decision,” he added.

On Modric’s reduced role at Real Madrid, Dalic added: “He played the last game from the first minute, they have a lot of players and games, the squad is as big as at Manchester City….

“The coach has to fix the line-up, Luka will get minutes, he fought, until the end. his work will earn him his place. He will be the main player for Real again.”

So close, yet so far

Modric craving international success. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Croatia have historically not been a team blessed with big-name players all over the field. Yet, Modric and his compatriots have taken their nation to the elite list at the international level.

Their golden run first came to light in the 2018 FIFA World Cup where they reached the final and fell short at the final hurdle to an inspired France. Four years later, they once again made it to the final four where they could not get past Lionel Messi’s Argentina.

Earlier this year, Croatia even made it to the final of the UEFA Nations League but fell short to Spain at the final hurdle.

Having been close to triumph on so many occasions, Modric’s desire to push along for one more competition and go all the way is understandable.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Las Palmas



Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be looking to return to winning ways as they get set to take on UD Las Palmas in a couple of hours at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Following the derby debacle against Atletico de Madrid last weekend, it is imperative for Los Merengues to bounce back strongly tonight.

With kick-off not very long away, Carlo Ancelotti has announced the starting lineup that will be stepping onto the pitch to face Las Palmas.

Ancelotti has changed things a fair bit from the derby defeat, with both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos dropping to the bench.

But the biggest surprise is that Jude Bellingham has also been rested by the Real Madrid boss.

Instead, Real Madrid go in with the quartet of Aurelien Tchouameni, Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga, and Brahim Diaz in their diamond midfield setup. The latter makes his first start for Real Madrid this season.

Up top, Joselu returns to the starting lineup, pairing up alongside Rodrygo Goes while Vinicius Jr remains on the bench, having only recently returned from an injury.

At the back, club captain Nacho Fernandez starts his first game of the season at the expense of Lucas Vazquez at right-back. Ferland Mendy also gets a look-in at left-back while David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger make up the rearguard that will shield Kepa Arrizabalaga.

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