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Shakhtar Donetsk manager hails Real Madrid veteran midfielder: “Neither Iniesta nor Xavi”



Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Real Madrid have enjoyed a strong start to their season and are unbeaten in ten games. Luka Modric has been at the centre of most of Los Blancos’ victories and it is not surprising that the team’s only draw came on a night when the Croat was unavailable.

Up next, the men in white face off against Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League. Leading up to the clash at Santiago Bernabeu, Igor Jovicevic, the manager of the Ukrainian side, spoke to AS and was full of praise for Modric, hailing him for his longevity.

“What Modric is doing, playing at this level with his age and in the best club in the world, no one has done. Neither Iniesta nor Xavi, for example, who went to other clubs much earlier,” Jovicevic said.

This comes as a big claim, given that the Real Madrid player is often compared to Barcelona’s golden trio of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.

The three La Masia graduates are often considered the greatest midfielders to step onto the field and while Modric has done enough to warrant a place alongside them, the fact has seldom been stated out loud.

This season, the veteran has played in nine of the team’s ten games. In that duration, he has clocked two goals and an assist. He suffered a hip injury while on international duty and is unlikely to be risked in Real Madrid’s next few games ahead of El Clasico.

Both Xavi and Iniesta moved on relatively early from European football aged 35 and 33 respectively. The fact that Modric, aged 37, is still producing world-class displays for Carlo Ancelotti’s side week in and week out is a testament to his greatness.

Currently, Barcelona’s legendary number 6 is currently the manager of the club and has overseen a positive overhaul since his arrival last year. Meanwhile, Iniesta is the captain of J1 League club Vissel Kobe and is still an active player.

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Real Madrid News

Brahim, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could lineup against Sevilla



Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Rudiger to return after a brief spell on the sidelines (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

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