It had all been going so well for Santiago Solari.
Solari won his four games in charge as Real Madrid’s interim boss, including a 5-0 victory over Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League.
But his first match as the club’s permanent boss ended in an embarrassing defeat.
Los Blancos went down 3-0 away to Eibar, who were 13th in La Liga at the time of kick-off.
Real had the chance to close the gap to Barcelona to just one point.
But that gap will reach seven points if the Blaugrana defeat Atletico Madrid in the evening kick-off.
We’re seeing just how much Real miss Cristiano Ronaldo, but the squad still includes many top players.
Modric disappointed v Eibar
Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale all started at the Estadio Municipal de Ipurua.
So too did the reigning UEFA Men’s Player of the Year and The Best FIFA Men’s Player, Luka Modric.
It was in September that Modric beat Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah to FIFA’s main award. And he’s the current favourite to add the Ballon d’Or award on December 3.
But Modric was hugely disappointing against Eibar, failing to make an impact before being replaced by Isco in the 63rd minute.
It continues a pretty underwhelming run of form for Modric at the start of the 2018-19 season.
And while he may be the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or, his performances so far this campaign don’t warrant such appraisal.
Even Real Madrid fans are ready to admit that Modric is underperforming.
On Twitter, @TheRealChampsFS wrote: “When is it going to be accepted that Modric has been absolutely diabolical this season?
“Is he unstoppable? Isco is capable and fit now. Drop Luka.”
When a fellow Real Madrid supporter responded by saying that Isco as a CM wouldn’t work, @TheRealChampsFS wrote came back: “Gotta be better than Modric at this point.
“This is his worst campaign since his first at the club.”
That’s a scathing assessment of a player who could be about to win the most coveted individual accolade in football.
Modric’s bid to win the Ballon d’Or is being carried entirely by his success with Real Madrid last season and his run to the World Cup final with Croatia.News Now - Sport News