Real Madrid: Five Man of the Match candidates against Chelsea

Eden Hazard of Real Madrid (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Eden Hazard of Real Madrid (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Luka Modric
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by Ricardo Nogueira/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

CM Luka Modric

I wanted to sneak in a defensive player like Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy, who are both becoming very important players to Real Madrid since joining for a combined 100 million euros in the 2019 summer transfer window.

However, it would be a mistake for me to overlook Luka Modric on a list that includes Toni Kroos and Real’s top two attackers.

Modric has been just as important to Real’s success this season as anyone. And when I wax poetic about Kroos’ Champions League performances this season, I have to also make mention of Modric’s literal Man of the Match performance in that decisive 3-1 second leg triumph over Atalanta in the Round of 16.

We’ve all heard the line before. “Modric is still so great for his age!” But they don’t need to put in the “for his age”. Modric is world-class, period. He is one of the best in the world, and aside from one rough season during a comical carousel of coaching changes, he has always been one of the best since stepping foot inside the Santiago Bernabeu.

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Modric can match the engine of Chelsea’s midfield and last week’s Man of the Match winner, N’Golo Kante. He can recover balls, start attacks, and provide moments of magic with an assist or goal from any angle or distance. Ask Manchester United what this man can do to an elite Premier League team in the knockout stages of this prestigious competition.

Sometimes, Modric gets overlooked because of his understated brilliance. But he cannot be overlooked as a potential game-changer in the second leg.