Luka Modric has had a glorious 10-year spell at Real Madrid and continues to dictate the flow of Los Blancos midfield at the age of 36.
The veteran has won two La Liga and four Champions League titles during his stay at the Spanish capital and has cemented his legacy as one of the best players in the club’s history and one of the finest midfielders ever to have played the game.
Contract ends soon
But all good stories come to an end eventually.
At the end of this season, the Croatian’s contract will expire, and he will move on to the next chapter of his career.
Even though Modric approaches his swan song at Real Madrid, he is still vital to their title aspirations.
Luca Modric was not an instant hit at the Bernabeu after arriving on a £30 million fee from Tottenham Hotspur.
He took his time to settle in, but then Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho had immense faith in his abilities and backed him to become a legend in Madrid. Modric proved him right within the next few years.
Modric formed one of the most fearsome midfield trios of all time, playing alongside Casemiro and Tony Kroos.
He is the most senior player of the bunch. Yet, he continues to match the contributions of his midfield peers with excellence.
What makes Luca Modric so unique in midfield?
He is an elite progressor of the ball.
The 36-year-old can escape from tight spaces with his excellent dribbling qualities.
You will see him covering every blade of the grass even today.
Since signing his last extension in 2021, he was unavailable for selection in only four matches, which points to his unbelievable fitness level despite his age.
Let’s bring up some stats to show how good Luca Modric has been for Madrid recently.
Over the last 12 months, he has attempted 77.50 passes per 90 minutes, putting him in the 95th percentile across the top five European Leagues.
88.5% of those passes found the intended target.
Modric ranks on the 94th percentile in terms of progressive passes.
For progressive carries, he belongs to the 93rd percentile.
As the numbers suggest, Modric is doing more than pulling his weight.
According to reports, Madrid will offer him a one-year extension, but they have to start planning for a future without the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner since he is not getting any younger.
Possible replacements for Modric
In-house options Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga can be thought as long term Modric replacements.
Camavinga’s eagerness to receive the ball is incredibly outstanding.
He barely refrains from sprinting towards the ball to receive it and retain possession for his team.
He also drops deep to generate passing lanes
Fede Valverde is a workhorse like Modric and is keen to cover large patches of the pitch.
The 23-year-old excels at winning the ball back, a trait Real Madrid scouts would love to have in their future football maestro.
Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella and Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni are two high-profile transfer market options, who have a similar set of skills to Modric.
None of them would come cheap, but that didn’t made Real Madrid to back off in too many occasions, especially if they are convinced they are going for the perfect player for their project.
WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo performs obscene gestures as fans chant Lionel Messi’s name
During the Saudi Pro League game between Al Shabab and Al Nassr, Nassr skipper Cristiano Ronaldo was seen making obscene gestures towards rival fans. The Shabab fans were chanting Ronaldo’s biggest rival Lionel Messi’s name. Not for the first time though, some Saudi football fans do prefer Messi over the Portuguese player. Meanwhile, during the game on Sunday, the Portugal international crossed all the limits as he made some obscene gestures.
Watch the video here
Al-Shabab fans chanting: “Messi, Messi”
— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) February 25, 2024
Talking about the game, the Yellow Brigade, Nassr won against Shabab. Ronaldo gave his team as he made the most of the penalty in the 21st minute of the game. However, in the injury time of the first half, Yannick Carrasco scored an equalizer before going into the break. In the first minute of the second half, Anderson Talisca gave a lead to Nassr. In the 67th minute, Carlos scored the equalizer for Shabab, and the game looked like ending in a tie before Talisca scored the match-winning goal in the 86th minute.
Meanwhile, the former Real Madrid player is set to face disciplinary action. As per the Saudi writer and television host, the disciplinary committee might take action.
“The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see. Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are” Waleed Al Farraj, a prominent Saudi writer and television host, said on X.
Cristiano Ronaldo faced disciplinary action during his stint with Manchester United
A few months before the FIFA World Cup 2022, he threw a fan’s phone when he was part of the English club, Manchester United. He was banned for a few games which meant that he missed a few games for his current club, Nassr. However, the ban didn’t apply in the World Cup as he was available for selection during the tournament, in which his team lost the Quarterfinal to Morrocco.
Virgil Van Dijk’s late strike in extra time helps Liverpool beat Chelsea in Carabao Cup final
Liverpool emerged victorious in the Carabao Cup final in 2024. In a thrilling game which was full of twists and turns, Liverpool managed to beat Chelsea to clinch the cup. Jurgen Klopp’s men were awarded with the winner’s medal as they edged out Chelsea in a low-scoring thriller that went to extra time. The defence of both sides was good to watch.
The match had many edge-of-the-seat moments. In the first half, Liverpool attempted a lot of shots over Chelsea. While some were out of target, some were in the target, but stopped by the goalkeeper. Cody Gakpo was unlucky to find the ball hit the goalpost. The strike of the youngster went in vain as the first half did not witness any goal.
Liverpool’s skipper was brilliant in the game. He martialed his troops well and got the coordination going for a long time. He in fact nearly had a goal in the first half, only to be ruled out by the VAR, which was highly controversial. There is a debate for the legitimacy of the goal which was not given despite the help of the technology. Liverpool did not get carried away with the moment.
Captain brilliant Virgil Van Dijk steps up in crunch moments
Klopp deployed younger players as substitutes in the 2nd half. It helped Liverpool a lot as they were able to not just put pressure on Chelsea but also create a lot of chances. While none of them were converted to goals in the second half, they ensured that Chelsea’s players were in check. At one stage, the absence of Mohammad Salah in the middle was felt.
The match went to the extra time, where things got a bit closer. Chelsea attempted to score goals but ended up giving more advantage to Liverpool. The younger legs marked well and provided good assists to the forwards. The moment came in the 118th minute of the game, when Van Dijk netted the goal and helped Liverpool to win the prestigious title.
Virat Kohli picks his ‘Sporting GOAT’
Virat Kohli was asked to pick his ‘Sporting GOAT’ in a recent interview. The star cricketer was interviewed by Team Blue Rising who asked him to name the greatest sportsperson of all time. “Who is your Sporting GOAT?” asked the host to the star batter. Kohli did not hesitate to take the name of one of the greatest Football players as his pick for the question.
The Indian batter claimed Cristiano Ronaldo to be the greatest Football player of all time. “For me, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Virat in the interview. It came as no surprise to the fans, as Virat has always been a huge admirer of the star Footballer. Even in the past, the 35-year-old has expressed his admiration for the star player from Portugal.
In many instances, the Indian batter has claimed Ronaldo to be his favourite player. Ronaldo has been one of the best players the sport has ever seen. Many claim him to be arguably the greatest Sportsperson of all time. Virat has joined the list of those to claim him to be the greatest athlete in the sports world. Ronaldo has some records to back his claim for the title.
Legacy of Cristiano Ronaldo and Virat Kohli
The Portuguese Footballer has the greatest number of goals for an international team. He also has the greatest number of international caps for a player. The star player is the only player to win four major cups with two different clubs. He did it with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Cristiano has the second most number of Ballon d’Or titles (Five) after Lionel Messi.
Virat, on the other hand, is a great cricketer. He has the greatest number of hundreds for a batter in ODIs. Virat has the greatest number of hundreds in ODIs while chasing. He is also the highest run scorer for India in T20Is. Kohli has the most runs for a batter in the IPL. He has the greatest number of POTT awards for a player in the T20 WC and the ODI WC.
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