Luka Modric closed a season a week ago in which he played 66 games: 52 with Madrid and 14 with Croatia, including all the possible ones from the last World Cup, in which his team finished third. Only two European players from the five major leagues finished the course with more duels than him: Bruno Fernandes (70) and Bernardo Silva (67), according to Opta’s accounting. The difference is that these two Portuguese are now 28 years old while the Balkan is two months away from 38. The whiplash in top-level football is still not enough for the midfielder. This Monday, the white club announced his renewal for one more season. In his case, the temptations of Saudi Arabia were not as powerful and he still has no desire to withdraw to another minor league.
With this operation, Madrid concluded the chapter of the seven players whose contracts expired at the end of June: Kroos, Ceballos, Nacho and Modric continue; Saudi petrodollars did seduce Benzema; Asensio preferred to look for new horizons; the entity settled the fallen Hazard; and got off of Mariano. With the past resolved, all eyes turn to the future and how the entity will resolve the reorganization of a forward that now only has Vinicius, Rodrygo, Brahim Diaz and Joselu Mato.
“I want to deserve to continue, that nobody gives me anything,” Modric exclaimed last February, in the guts of Anfield, in the preview of the first leg of the Champions League round of 16. At that time, he assured that no one from the club had yet addressed him to talk about his future. For Carlo Ancelotti there were no more fixtures in the center of the field than him and Kroos -and it was like that until the end of the course-, but the call from the offices had not yet taken place. The Cup title (previous 0-4 at the Camp Nou) and reaching the European semifinals paved the way for its four consecutive renewals from year to year.
Except for departures in the two remaining months of the market, the core will be the line with the most excess names, up to seven: Tchouameni, Camavinga, Kroos, Modric, Bellingham, Valverde and Ceballos. If up front the payroll barely reaches four pieces, in the middle the figure skyrockets. The management of this area will be one of the most sensitive points for the Italian coach next season. Due to the number of players and the weight of several of them.
One year from the Eurocup
The idea that the club has transferred to Carletto is that he give new impetus to the generational transition in the center, which should happen by gradually reducing the minutes of Kroos and Modric. The two have been giving up some prominence in the global of the year, but they have continued to be non-negotiable in the big cartel appointments. Whenever he has had them at his disposal, they have been starters on those key days. Now, the unknown is how the Reggiolo coach handles this issue given the club’s intentions. Another test for his skilled left hand.
Parallel to this Madrid issue, Modric will have to decide on his future with Croatia one year before the Euro Cup, whose qualifying phase has just begun. At Anfield, in addition to talking about his expectations of renewing at the Bernabeu, he pointed out that his idea with the national team was to continue until the final phase of the League of Nations and then see. A week ago, in the Netherlands, he lost on penalties in the final against Spain, so it is expected that in the coming days he will speak or take a position on his plans with the national team.
To date, Luka Modric’s past speaks of a footballer who has not given up anything. The last season ended with the same games played in all competitions as Eduardo Camavinga, who has been playing for 17 years.
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Source: EL PAIS