Football

Luka Modric - the key man in Real Madrid's hunt for success

Modric rarely gets the headlines like Gareth Bale does.
Modric rarely gets the headlines like Gareth Bale does..

When Real Madrid ended a summer-long pursuit to seal the signing of Gareth Bale, the watching world expected an ex-Tottenham player to light up the Bernabeu this season - and they were right.

However, the man behind Real Madrid's hunt for a La Liga and Champions League
double isn't a flying Welsh winger, instead it's a crafty Croatian who has been pulling the strings.

The midfield schemer is one of the least glamorous stars in a dressing room that contains the likes of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos, but his importance to the team shouldn't be underestimated.

Modric has been an almost ever-present under Carlo Ancelotti, despite the big-money signing of Asier Illarramendi in the summer.

Often partnering another unsung hero in Xabi Alonso, Modric is an expert at keeping possession and keeping the game ticking over in the right  direction.Though he's more than capable of it, you won't find the 28-year-old trying to show off by smashing
60-yard passes all over the Bernabeu - that's not his job.

Instead he
rotates possession quickly, leaving the opposition aimlessly chasing the ball.He's happy to receive the ball under pressure and provides his back four with an option at all times, making their life a lot easier.

Yes, it's easy to heap praise on the so-called BBC of Bale, Benzema and Cristiano
Ronaldo, but their job would be a lot more difficult without Modrid in the team.

You see, their pace and well-timed runs mean nothing without someone to pick them out.

Think of them as finely-tuned race cars. As quick as they are, as powerful as
they are and as exciting as they are, without a highly-skilled driver
they won't go anywhere.

And that's what Modric offers the Real Madrid forward line - a director in one of the most beautiful footballing shows on earth.

But the beautiful game can occasionally get nasty, and that's not an area
you'd expect a 5ft 9inch midfielder to flourish. Modric isn't phased by that however.

Growing up in Croatia, he likely learned his trade playing against bigger, strong opponents meaning he had to learn how to put his foot in and look after himself.

And maybe he's still learning - he's  picked up 10 yellow cards this season. Real Madrid fans won't mind that though, they'll enjoy seeing a midfielder with passion, a midfielder not afraid of a tackle.

For those who doubt Modric's ability, you only need to hear what Carlo Ancelotti has to say about the player. In 2012, when Modric was a Spurs player being linked with PSG, Ancelotti said: "Modric is an outstanding player and in my opinion he is at this time one of the best midfielders in the world."

High praise indeed, and it's fair to say Ancelotti knows a thing or two about midfielders.

During his time at AC Milan he had the luxury of fielding a midfield of Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso and Kaka meaning he knows what a half decent midfielder looks like.

So while it's impossible not to be wowed by the attacking talent on show at Real Madrid, if you want to find the key to their success, the director of a multi-talented cast, you need to look a little deeper, you need to look at Luka Modric.

Topics:
Luka Modric
La Liga
Football
Real Madrid

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