Real Madrid: 5 burning questions after inexcusable loss to Cadiz

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Luka Modric
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

4. And why did Real Madrid start Luka Modric?

Rotations are fine, and I am quite glad Zinedine Zidane rotates often so that several talented Real Madrid players get their chances. The problem is that the rotations must make sense. And unfortunately, many of the decisions Zidane made with his lineup vs. Cadiz did not make any sense at all.

Take, for example, the cases of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric starting in midfield. Kroos was coming off an injury and returned during the international break, but he did not look 100 percent in those games for Germany. So why not give him extra rest before the Champions League and Clasico? Why start him when he’s not at his best? Kroos predictably struggled, making some major giveaways before returning to his calm self in the second half.

The bigger problem, though, was starting Luka Modric. He clearly needed rest after starting game after game for both Real Madrid and Croatia. Modric, for the first time in 2020, looked tired. He looked completely out of it and had zero impact on this game. Zero. And he was the team’s most in-form player before the break.

Zidane should have protected Modric by resting him for Fede Valverde, who came on in the second half during the midfield changes. stats show that Modric had three unsuccessful touches and was dispossessed twice. He had one key pass, no dribbles completed, and no fouls drawn. Highly uncharacteristic for Modric, but highly characteristic of a player who was not 100 percent.