When Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi dominated the Ballon d’Or awards, the world knew it would take something special to break the duopoly. It was finally Luka Modric who did the unthinkable in 2018 after a stunning season for club and country.
Now nearing 37, the Croatian international is still as vital to Real Madrid’s plans as he once was. Despite his age, the club offered him a one-year contract extension last month to keep him in the team for the coming season.
According to reports from Diario AS, Real Madrid will take special care of Modric this season. The management recognises that he played 103 games in the last two seasons and believes that his workload must be better managed to get the best out of him.
While the veteran will continue to start in important games, his prominence as a regular starter will be greatly reduced. This will not only provide rest to the player but also help the manager oversee a smooth transition to the next generation of midfielders.
Eduardo Camavinga is knocking on the doors for a starting spot and could benefit from Modric’s situation this year. The Frenchman, alongside Aurelien Tchouameni and Federico Valverde, is seen as the future of Real Madrid’s midfield.
This could well be Modric’s last season at the club. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez already has his eyes set on Jude Bellingham as a natural replacement and it remains to be seen if that operation is successful.
Last season, Modric started 25 league games for Los Blancos. In that duration, he recorded two goals and provided eight assists.
Brahim, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could lineup against Sevilla
Real Madrid are set to play hosts to Sevilla this evening, in what could prove to be a critical match in the context of the title race.
Although Los Blancos hold a formidable lead at the top of the table, the club are coming on the back of a disappointing result against Rayo Vallecano.
Dropping more points against Sevilla tonight could prove to be costly, especially with Barcelona and Girona breathing down their necks.
Potential Real Madrid lineup vs Sevilla
As Real Madrid approach this crucial game, coach Carlo Ancelotti has to make several arrangements, especially with so many players ruled out either due to injury or suspension.
Starting from the goalkeeper position, Thibaut Courtois remains out, which means Andriy Lunin should continue in between the sticks, ahead of the unhappy Kepa Arrizabalaga.
In the right-back position, Ancelotti is likely to opt for Lucas Vazquez, as Dani Carvajal is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the last game.
On a bright note, though, Antonio Rudiger is back and should return to central defence. He will be accompanied by Nacho Fernandez at the heart of Real Madrid’s four-man backline.
Elsewhere in defence, Ferland Mendy should continue to start ahead of Fran Garcia in the left-back position.
Moving into midfield, Eduardo Camavinga has been ruled out due to suspension. However, Ancelotti does have a myriad of options in the middle of the park.
Aurelien Tchouameni should continue to operate in the number six position, just behind the two interior midfielders Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde.
Luka Modric is an option on the bench, should Ancelotti require more experience in the middle.
As for the attack, the Real Madrid frontline should be led by Brahim Diaz once again, even though he faces fierce competition from Joselu.
Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, on the other hand, are guaranteed choices in the wide attacking spaces, though Ancelotti does have Arda Guler and Alvaro Rodriguez as potential alternatives.