Real Madrid News
Tottenham winger says they want to win the World Cup for Modric
Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will go down as two of the greatest footballers to have ever lived. Yet, the one common empty space on both their trophy racks is that of the FIFA World Cup.
Heading into the 2022 edition in Qatar, it was well known that it would be the final chance for both legends to lay their hands on the coveted silverware. Ronaldo’s dream ended when Morocco scripted a historic win over Portugal last week, but Messi is still alive in the hunt. To get to the final, however, he will first have to get past Luka Modric’s Croatia.
Ahead of the anticipated semifinal, Croatian winger Ivan Perisic spoke about facing Lionel Messi and the Argentine’s dream of winning the World Cup. Yet, the Tottenham player reminded the world that Luka Modric was also in his final edition of the tournament and that the Croatian team was committed to bringing the trophy home for him.
“Cristiano couldn’t win it. Messi is trying with Argentina. We will give our everything to win the World Cup for Modrić,” Perisic said (h/t MadridXtra).
Croatia have unbelievably made it to the semifinals of the prestigious competition for the second successive time and will look to equal their run from 2018 with a win over Argentina on Tuesday.
They could stand to face France once again in the final in what would be a repetition of the final in Russia four years ago.
Modric has played every minute of his national team’s campaign so far but is yet to directly contribute to a goal. He has averaged close to 95 touches and a key pass per game and is quite clearly the epicentre of his side’s buildup play.
Real Madrid News
25-year-old ‘impeccable’ star viewed as the leader of the Real Madrid defence
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.