Real Madrid: Luka Modric keeps proving his place after this season

Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images) /

There weren’t many bright spots to take away from Real Madrid’s loss to Shakhtar Donetsk, but Luka Modric was certainly one of them.

Real Madrid center midfielder Luka Modric is still one of the best midfield players in European football. The Croatian international has been the best outfield player for Los Blancos in 2020-2021, and despite being run into the ground with start after start for club and country, he continues to deliver for both teams.

Modric had a rare off game against Cadiz as Real stumbled to a 1-0 loss at the Estadio Alfred Di Stefano. Days later, Real looked no better in their Champions League opener against Shakhtar Donetsk. You would have thought Modric, who started after still not getting any rest despite an uncharacteristic display vs. Cadiz, would have been a part of the poor performance. But far from it. Modric was one of only three bright spots alongside Vinicius Junior and Thibaut Courtois.

The 34-year-old gave Real Madrid life with an absolutely astounding goal in the second half to make it 3-1. Modric scored from well outside the box, smashing the ball with venom and movement to give Shakhtar’s keeper no chance.

Modric left the game in the 69th minute for Toni Kroos to get a little bit of rest before his team relies on him again in the Clasico.

Luka Modric is still a do-everything midfielder for Real Madrid

Time after time, Modric has shown his class for Real Madrid in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. He played a key role this summer in Real’s march to the title, bossing the midfield with his slick dribbling and industrious defending.

This season, he’s still found that next gear late in games to run and press. And, as his goal against Donetsk shows, he continues to have the quality to make a difference on his own.

Modric, per, had two key passes and three tackles against Shakhtar. This season in La Liga, the experienced midfielder is averaging 2.2 key passes per game and 2.0 dribbles completed per game. Further, he is notching an interception per game, too.

The stats don’t tell the whole story of his impact, as Modric’s work-rate, intelligence, and leadership in midfield count for a lot. He commands respect from his teammates and the opposition.

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With one year left on his current deal, Modric’s future with Real Madrid is year to year. There have even been those wondering if Martin Odegaard could replace him one day. That day will have to wait, because Modric’s work this season is making a clear statement that he has a place in this club beyond 2020-2021. There is still more left in the tank.