Alonso backs Modric despite indifferent start at Real Madrid

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Real Madrid and Spain midfielder, Xabi Alonso has said that former Tottenham Hotspur star Luka Modric is still adapting to life in Spain, but insists the Croatian midfielder will come good for Los Blancos.

Modric has so far struggled for form in the Spanish capital after his big money move from Spurs, starting just nine games, and scoring once.

His most recent appearance came in last night's 4-0 Copa del Rey victory over Celta Vigo, where he set up a goal for hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo mid-way through the first-half.

The 27-year-old has also been voted the worst La Liga signing of 2012 by readers of Spanish newspaper Marca, and so will be looking to build on Wednesday's encouraging performance, by proving his doubters wrong in 2013.

There has been speculation linking Modric with a move back to the Premier League already with Chelsea and Manchester United interested in the player. But, Alonso has backed Modric to flourish at the Santiago Bernabeu despite his slow start.

"There are a few of us competing for that position and he is adapting to a new club and a new league," the former Liverpool midfielder told a news conference.

"I found it difficult in my first season after coming from the Premier League but he is very well integrated, he is a fantastic lad and a great player. I have no doubt he will be important."

Real Madrid currently sit in third place in La Liga behind local rivals Atletico Madrid, and are 16 points off runaway leaders Barcelona after a poor start to the 2012/13 campaign.

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