Luka Modric saved Real Madrid’s Champions League campaign with one majestic flick of his right boot.
Going into the dying minutes at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night, it looked for all intents and purposes as though Los Blancos had bottled the 3-1 lead that they had established in west London.
Goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner had seen Chelsea race into a 3-0 lead in the Spanish capital that put them on the brink of a legendary Champions League comeback.
Modric saves the day vs Chelsea
However, it simply wasn’t to be, because for all of the Blues’ hard work and heroics, they couldn’t do anything to stop the fact that Modric was pulling the strings in the Real midfield.
Even at age 36, the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner remains one of the best playmakers in the business, buzzing away at the heart of the Real machine with metronomic passing and unrivalled vision.
So, really, there was always the threat that Modric could unravel Chelsea’s dreams in an instant and that’s exactly what he did with one of the finest Champions League assists we’ve seen in years.
The Croatian maestro delivered the most outrageous of passes into the penalty area from deep with the outside of his right boot that Rodrygo Goes gobbled up with an emphatic finish.
Not only was it an inch-perfect delivery that looked about 45 chess moves into the future, but the way in which he pulled it off with such effortlessness and impudence made it an absolute joy to watch.
As such, you just knew that footballing purists around the world would be drooling into their craft IPAs as the television replays showed Modric saving Real from elimination with a moment of genius.
Real Madrid 2-3 Chelsea Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
The perfect angle of Modric’s assist
However, of all the stunning angles that showed Modric strutting his stuff, none of them compare to the alternate shot from behind that, frankly, makes it look as though the pass was fake.
In other words, it shows the physics-defying nature of Modric’s pass so starkly that you’d be forgiven for thinking that the footage was CGI – and it’s blowing the minds of more than a few fans on social media.
So, if you want to gorp at the footballing brilliance of one of our generation’s silkiest of operators – why wouldn’t you? – then be sure to check out the mother of all angles on Modric’s assist down below:
Alternate angle of Luka Modric's outside of the foot pass to Rodrygo pic.twitter.com/VRmq33R6aW— SportzGlobal01 (@SportzGlobal01) April 13, 2022
Take down the Mona Lisa because that deserves prime position in the Louvre.
The beauty of Modric
There are moments in football when you remember why it’s called the beautiful game and classy players who really embody the ‘art’ of the sport like Modric create so, so many of them.
Naturally, the reaction to it has been amplified by the magnitude of the game and the player who delivered it, but we simply wouldn’t be football fans if we didn’t lose our minds at Modric going, well, full Modric.
In much the way that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are marching towards the twilight of their careers, it’s sadly inescapable that Modric will only have a handful of seasons left at the very top level.
But that only makes it even more important that we celebrate all the moments that he produces to remember him by – and boy was his Chelsea assist up there with some of the best.