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

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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’s teenage sensation to join camp on Wednesday, Brazilian core to return later

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Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid enjoyed strong representation at the recently concluded European Championship and Copa America.

Dani Carvajal is the only player who returned with silverware, but it is safe to say that all the team’s stars on international duty put up displays to be proud of.

The attention now turns towards the season that lies ahead. Carlo Ancelotti and co. have already begun working ahead of the new campaign, and the internationals will begin rejoining training in the coming week, as relayed by MARCA.

The early returnees

Having suffered an early elimination in the Euro with Croatia, Luka Modric is set to return to training as early as the beginning of the coming week.

The veteran recently renewed his contract with the club and will be looking to prove that he still has it on his feet.

Modric will be available soon at Ancelotti’s disposal (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The team’s new signing, Endrick, will join forces with Los Blancos on Wednesday as he begins a new chapter in his short, yet illustrious career so far. All eyes will be on his official signing and presentation.

Meanwhile, Arda Güler and Antonio Rudiger are expected to return to training under Ancelotti towards the end of the week.

The late entries

Players who progressed relatively deeper into the recently concluded tournaments have understandably been granted a longer vacation, and both the French and English representatives of the club enjoy that luxury.

Needless to say, no specific date has been set for their return, considering that their campaign in the Euro ran deep into July.

The team’s Copa America stars, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, and Eder Militão, meanwhile, will report to training on July 31st. Federico Valverde, who finished third with Uruguay, will likely enjoy a longer hiatus.

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