Luka Modric’s drive to compete at the top level is unmatched. At 37 years of age, the veteran is not only one of Real Madrid’s most fundamental pieces on the field but also the centre-piece for the Croatian national team.
His decision to renew with Real Madrid at such a ripe age is a step that very few would have the mentality to take. Yet, it is clear that he still has the quality in his boots and that he will play a critical role for Los Blancos next season.
It will be interesting to see how Carlo Ancelotti juggles between the veteran and Jude Bellingham next season. After all, the manager has some of the world’s best midfield talent stacked in his squad.
The Croatian ace recently spoke to the media ahead of his team’s UEFA National League semifinal clash against The Netherlands, as revealed by AS.
Modric was asked about the offers he had on the table from Saudi Arabia during the interaction, to which he replied saying that he had already given clarifications about his future in the past and would not want to keep repeating himself.
“Real Madrid or Saudi Arabia? My focus is on the national team now. As for Real Madrid, I have already said everything many times, I would not like to repeat myself,” he said.
While Modric is believed to have opted to stay at Real Madrid for another year over accepting the proposal from the Middle-East-based club, Karim Benzema went down the other route. The veteran midfielder commented on his former captain’s departure and wished him the best in his new endeavour.
“I’ve already said what I think about him. We are sorry to see such a great player leave, but everyone has his own career path and does what he thinks is best for him. We thank him for everything and wish him good luck,” he said.
The 37-year-old was then asked about his future with the Croatian national team and whether this would be his final tournament in international football. Modric revealed that he had made a decision on the matter but refused to reveal anything further.
“We will see. I’m focused on the Nations League now. I’ve made a decision, but we’ll talk about my future with Croatia when the Nations League is over,” Modric stated.
Finally, the midfield legend spoke in detail about the prestige and joy he felt in playing for his nation and said it fulfilled him.
“I always enjoy playing for the national team and every visit here fulfills me. The fact my end with the national team is approaching is not a reason for me to enjoy it more. I enjoy it here every time,” he said.
Bellingham on his special assist in Girona 0-3 Real Madrid: “Been watching Luka every day”
Real Madrid usurped the top spot in the La Liga standings from arch-rivals FC Barcelona as they defeated Girona 3-0 away at Estadi Montilivi.
It was a fine performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s men against Michel’s side, with the returning Jude Bellingham leading the way for his team.
After being benched against Las Palmas in midweek, the England international returned to the starting XI today and turned in yet another Man of the Match display for Real Madrid.
It all started with Joselu opening the scoring just 15 minutes into the game, with Bellingham assisting the goal with a special, outside-of-the-boot pass from the left side, bringing back memories of Luka Modric doing something similar a few years ago.
Talking about that special pass, Bellingham said: “I’ve been watching Luka every day for months. I just want to be creative. It took the pressure off us at the start.”
On the match and the result, the 20-year-old stated that it was a good day across the board for Real Madrid, as he said: “It was an important win. They were doing very well. We made a statement of intent to La Liga. Three goals, a clean sheet….”
It has been a truly remarkable start to life at Real Madrid for Bellingham and expressing how he feels to play for the Merengues, he exclaimed:
“I feel very good. I have freedom of movement and I’m enjoying football. Whenever I put on this shirt I always try to do my best.”
Apart from assisting Joselu’s opener, Bellingham also got his name on the scoresheet in the second period. Talking about his goal, the wonderkid said:
“It wasn’t a very good finish. I could have scored some more, but the important thing is the victory.”
The strike meant that Bellingham now has seven goals and two assists across all competitions for Real Madrid. Reflecting on his brilliant start, he said:
“It’s a good start, not bad. I would like to continue on this path and I won’t always score or assist, but I will always give my best.”
Bellingham’s celebration has been a huge hit, with kids in school, players from other clubs, and many others mimicking it. When asked how his special celebration originated, he replied:
“I don’t know where I first celebrated. I think it was with Birmingham. It’s an inspiration to see kids doing it in schools. It’s a wonderful thing.”