Villarreal manager Quique Setien has heaped praise on Real Madrid veteran midfielder Luka Modric, calling him a ‘dream footballer’ ahead of the weekend clash between the two teams.
Real Madrid face Villarreal in La Liga on Saturday as they look to pick up their third win in a row across all competitions after the World Cup break.
Building up to the game, Setien, who replaced Unai Emery as the manager of the Yellow Submarines earlier this season, has hailed Modric, saying (h/t MARCA):
“I’ve often spoken about Modric, I think he’s a dream footballer. He is what I would have liked to have been in his day as a player. No matter how old he is, he goes ahead, he senses what is going to happen before he gets the ball.
“He reads spaces and movements before the rest, as well as having a refined technique. It’s a quality that is perfected over time, although you have to bring it with you from the factory. In his inner self he already understood football.”
Further revealing his admiration for the midfielder, Setien added: “He does everything perfectly. He’s a player I’ve had great admiration for because I love watching him. For people like me who have enjoyed players of this quality, it’s a pleasure.”
Setien also spoke about the prowess of Real Madrid both in attacking and defensive facets, saying: “When they have to defend they do it very well. There is an area where it’s a bit more difficult for them to recover but near their area, they defend very well.
“They sense what they are doing because they are strong, quick, and intelligent. They have players who are very good in attack. If they’re inspired, we’ll have to be more concentrated because they’ll get a goal at any moment.”
Real Madrid are level on points with Barcelona but are behind on goal difference. A win against Villarreal will send them to the top and given that the Catalans play Atletico Madrid on Sunday, the Merengues could end the week as league leaders.
Real Madrid maintain full confidence in Turkish starlet despite injury woes
Arda Guler’s Real Madrid stint has not gotten off to the start he would have hoped to have given the expectation that preceded the transfer.
Having joined in the summer after Real Madrid outbid their competition to win him over from Fenerbahce for a 20-million-euro fee, buzz was high as the winger was expected to slot into the team quite seamlessly, albeit on a rotational basis.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, he has been constantly marred by injuries since completing the move.
Reports have stated that after Guler picked up his third injury since his move, Real Madrid have been concerned and want to take things slow with the player to ensure he is fit as soon as possible after an injury to his quadriceps this time.
The Turk is yet to make his competitive debut for the club, and Real Madrid even sacked their medical chief in November, in light of their injury crises since the beginning of the season.
No loan deal for Guler
However, according to Fabrizio Romano in a recent YouTube video, he states that Madrid maintain full trust and patience in the youngster.
Despite his bad luck with injuries, the latest of which he is scheduled to return from after Christmas, the Galacticos have no intention of loaning out Guler to Turkish clubs despite lots of speculation of them doing so of late.
Romano states that Madrid remain firm on not shaking things up too much with the squad, and they want to keep their roster stable, including Arda Guler.
They want to extend their full support and protection to the player as he aims to return to full fitness and finally make his bow for Madrid either by the end of this month or in 2024.