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Villarreal manager hails Real Madrid midfielder ahead of weekend clash: “Dream footballer”



Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid could be in trouble with RFEF if too many Spanish players leave



It is astounding that despite being the biggest club in Spain, Real Madrid do not have many Spanish players to show for it.

Los Blancos do indeed boast of a special diversity in the dressing room, but their lack of locally trained players could pose problems according to MARCA.

The Spanish outlet confirms that UEFA does not mandate the inclusion of any minimum number of locally grown players for a club. However, the Spanish federation stipulates that a club in Spain must boast of at least eight players who meet a specific set of conditions.

Of the aforementioned eight candidates, there must be at least four players who have spent three seasons or 36 months at the club between the ages of 15 and 21.

Currently, only Nacho Fernandez, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez, Federico Valverde, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Mariano make up the required number on that front.

The problem, however, arises with the condition for the other four players in the list of eight. RFEF stipulates that the second set of four players must have completed at least 36 months in teams attached to the federation of Spain between the ages of 15 and 21.

Only Jesus Vallejo, Alvaro Odriozola, Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos tick the aforementioned box. However, all four players have uncertain futures at the club and are well-placed to depart in the summer.

There are thus big decisions to be taken over the transfer strategy for June. Real Madrid can work ways to ship all four players out, it would require the re-integration of players like Sergio Arribas, Miguel Gutierrez or Fran Garcia to ensure the fulfilment of the criteria.

With both Vallejo and Odriozola seemingly frozen out of Ancelotti’s plans, their departures from Santiago Bernabeu appear inevitable. Thus, the management could be forced to renew one of Asensio or Ceballos come June.

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