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Real Madrid star will push to be available against Valladolid after World Cup run



Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Among all the Real Madrid players that participated in the recently-concluded FIFA World Cup this month, Luka Modric, along with French duo Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga ended the tournament later than everyone else.

Tchouameni and Camavinga were part of the final between France and Argentina that was played on Sunday, whereas Modric had to stay back for the third-place playoff match between Croatia and Morocco until Saturday.

Due to these three players only getting a total of nine rest days, it was initially expected that they would miss Real Madrid’s game against Real Valladolid at the end of this month.

However, according to a report from Tportal (h/t Mundo Deportivo), Modric has no plans to sit back and enjoy his rest and wants to return to Santiago Bernabeu as soon as possible, in order to make himself available for the Valladolid clash.

The Croatian news outlet suggests that Modric was expected to return to his hometown Zadar, where he was supposed to be received by his countrymen.

But it appears the midfielder has not come to Zadar, in favour of a trip back to Madrid so that he can better prepare himself and make himself available for the game against Valladolid.

Modric was scheduled to return to Valdebebas for training on December 28. But his decision to return early is only a testament to the professionalism that the veteran Croatian exudes.

Even at the age of 37, the former Tottenham Hotspur superstar continues to be a valuable part of the Real Madrid setup as well. His return could be a major boost for the Whites, who will otherwise miss out on Tchouameni and Camavinga.

However, given how hard the veteran has worked during the World Cup, it remains to be seen whether Carlo Ancelotti makes the decision to start him against Valladolid.

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Real Madrid News

25-year-old ‘impeccable’ star viewed as the leader of the Real Madrid defence



Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

According to MARCA, Eder Militao is seen as the undisputed leader of the Real Madrid defence, thanks to his ‘impeccable’ level of performances. The 25-year-old’s standing in the team has forced a duel between David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger for the second centre-back slot.

Militao arrived at Real Madrid in the summer of 2019, joining from FC Porto in a deal worth €50 million. While he made a slow start to life in Spain, the Brazilian slowly grew in stature from his second season at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Following the exits of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, Militao established himself as a permanent fixture in the backline for the Merengues and was a standout performer last season as they won the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League trophy.

The 25-year-old has carried on in the same vein of form this season as well, featuring in 35 matches across all competitions for Real Madrid, even chipping in with six goals.

The Brazilian international is seen as one of the best centre-backs in the world currently, with Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti sharing that opinion.

“I may lose credibility if I say Vinicius and Militão are the best striker and defender in the world respectively but it’s the truth. I am honest. Militão lacks nothing,” he had said last month.

Militao is not only viewed as the leader of the Real Madrid defence, but has also grown into a leader within the locker room as well, with the player being loved and fully supported by his teammates.

Militao’s presence has meant that Alaba and Rudiger have had to battle it out for the lone centre-back slot. The former had enjoyed a stunning season last time out after joining from Bayern Munich in 2021, but has struggled with injuries and fitness problems this term.

As for Rudiger, the German arrived last summer from Chelsea and started out slow, but has grown in confidence and stature, especially in recent months. So much so that, his signing is already being regarded as a success within the club.

In Militao, Real Madrid undoubtedly have a long-term fixture at the heart of the defence. But with Rudiger and Alaba in their thirties, the Merengues must look to bring in one more player who can take over from them in the near future and can form a partnership with Militao.

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