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Real Madrid worried about key superstar’s physical exertion at the World Cup



Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Four years after leading Croatia to the FIFA World Cup finals, Luka Modric is at it again as he and his national team have made it to the quarter-finals of the 2022 edition of the tournament in Qatar.

And, like in Russia in 2018, the Real Madrid superstar is once again playing a pivotal role in Croatia’s run, having been a prominent feature in each of their matches thus far despite being 37 years old.

However, according to Mundo Deportivo, Real Madrid are starting to get a little worried about the physical exertion that Modric is putting himself through at the World Cup.

Modric has displayed great endurance and longevity so far in his career, turning up and putting in top-notch performances week after week at the highest level.

However, playing in multiple high-intensity, pressure games with very little gap in between and then not having a long enough break to recover before the second half of the season of club football resumes can lead to physical problems.

So far, Modric has started each of Croatia’s four matches at the World Cup and has played a total of 365 minutes in Qatar.

The only two times he has been subbed off came in the game against Canada when he was taken off after 86 minutes and in the Round of 16 contest versus Japan when he was hauled off nearly ten minutes into extra time.

After the penalty shootout win over Japan, Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic admitted that Modric was exhausted which was the reason behind his being substituted even though a shootout was looming.

So, it is natural for Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid to be worried about the veteran superstar’s condition ahead of the second half of the season, even though there is a plan in place to ensure players returning from the World Cup are taken proper care of.

Prior to his departure for the World Cup, Modric had played 18 of Real Madrid’s 21 matches in all competitions this season, scoring five goals and setting up two more.

With the club trailing Barcelona in the La Liga title race, it is important for them to have Modric fit and available for the rest of the season. And Ancelotti & co. will hope that the wear and tear from the World Cup do not come to haunt them later.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid held talks with Thomas Tuchel before he signed for Bayern Munich



Photo by MICHAELA REHLE/AFP via Getty Images

Before he was hired by Bayern Munich as the direct replacement for Julian Nagelsmann, Thomas Tuchel was closely linked with a move to Real Madrid at the end of the season.

The German tactician had kept a close eye on the development at Santiago Bernabeu, especially with coach Carlo Ancelotti facing immense pressure following the club’s poor performances in domestic competitions.

A recent report from Jorge Picon has offered more details on the Tuchel saga, suggesting that the coach was even learning Spanish during his time at Ibiza, anticipating a potential move to Real Madrid at the end of the season.

There were even contacts made between Tuchel’s entourage and Real Madrid. Although the talks were positive, the two sides were not able to reach an agreement.

Real Madrid did not guarantee him the job. They had informed Tuchel that Ancelotti may continue at the Bernabeu in the event the club win the UEFA Champions League this season.

This bit of uncertainty played a critical role in convincing Tuchel to join Bayern Munich instead. The former Chelsea boss was hired as a direct replacement for Nagelsmann, who was sacked after a poor season in the Bundesliga by the club’s high standards.

However, Tuchel’s move to Bayern appears to be a missed opportunity on the German’s part, as Real Madrid have recently intensified their search for a new manager.

It is clear that the club’s hierarchy is yet to reach a consensus over the future of Ancelotti, with some believing that a change is necessary come the end of the season. In fact, the club’s president Florentino Perez has been an admirer of Tuchel’s compatriot Nagelsmann.

The coaching prodigy is one of the candidates to replace Ancelotti in the summer, though it is Mauricio Pochettion who is reportedly leading the race so far.

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