Real Madrid: The 5 best players from the first quarter of the 2020-21 season

Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Luka Modric
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images) /

CM Luka Modric

Fede Valverde isn’t the only midfielder who has been exceptional for Real Madrid through the first eight matches of the La Liga campaign, which roughly corresponds to a quarter of the league season at the November international break.

Luka Modric is the other midfielder who has been world-class for Real Madrid in 2020-2021 thus far. And that comes as no surprise, since Modric is a former Ballon d’Or winner who is widely regarded as the best midfielder of his generation.

The 35-year-old Croatian is showing no signs of slowing down and remains a key player in the squad, even when he’s coming off the bench. As we saw against Borussia Monchengladbach when Real Madrid completed a furious comeback from down 2-0, Modric can change the course of a game in a mere 30 minutes off the bench. He also scored a late goal to seal the game in El Clasico.

According to, Modric is second on the team in key passes per game behind Toni Kroos and third in dribbles per game among qualified players – only Ferland Mendy and Marco Asensio have more.

Those statistics show the all-around impact Modric has. He also scored a brilliant goal in the Champions League loss to Shakhtar Donetsk to give his team some hope. That moment of magic from beyond the box offered another example of Modric’s game-changing ability.

Modric deserves all the superlatives. Alongside Fede Valverde, the experienced center midfielder has been Real Madrid’s best player so far in 2020-2021. I shudder to think where Los Blancos would be in the La Liga and Champions League tables without Modric.