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

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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

Real Madrid defender on the radars of Juventus, could leave for €6-8 million

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Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Real Madrid are looking towards a heavy splurge in the coming summer transfer window. After all, they do not even have another option given the sheer number of player departures already finalized.

Los Blancos have lost the services of Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz, and Eden Hazard over the past week. While three of the four players predominantly featured on the bench, their presence in the squad gave Carlo Ancelotti’s side much-needed depth and a cushion of sorts.

The forward unit is, thus, the most prioritized department ahead of the transfer window. However, pieces are beginning to fall apart on other fronts and could potentially put the club in a difficult situation.

According to reports from Gianluca Di Marzio, Juventus are eyeing Lucas Vazquez and hope to sign him in the coming month. Contacts between the two parties have begun and the transfer fee discussed appears to be around the €6 million to €8 million ballpark given that he has just one year left on his contract.

The player, for his part, is willing to sign for the Italian giants given his relative lack of minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu. At 31 years of age, he understandably does not want to play a second-fiddle role.

Vasquez played part in 23 of Real Madrid’s 38 La Liga games last season, starting only on 12 occasions. Even in his few appearances, he averaged a mere 50 minutes per game.

The veteran completed the season with four goals and an assist to his name. Further, he averaged five defensive actions and a key pass in every game and feels hard done by his limited role.

Vazquez’s departure would place the club in a tricky situation as it would leave Real Madrid with only Dani Carvajal as a natural right-back option. Nacho Fernandez could, in theory, serve as the backup but a new signing for the position cannot be ruled out.

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