Why Luka Modric must not start every game going forward

Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Luka Modric (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid‘s Luka Modric has been a crucial part of Carlo Ancelotti’s side this season. The Croatian Maestro has already played 13 games and over 900 minutes for the club this season, missing only four games due to injury.

Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro have kept their place as Real Madrid’s starting midfield trio and with good reason. Their performances this season have been great with Modric barely showing any signs of slowing down even with his age.

The closest challenger to the trio, Fede Valverde, is struggling with injuries and needs a little bit more time to displace one of the midfield three. Eduardo Camavinga, the second of the arrivals for Real Madrid this season, has still a long way to go before he can be a starter.

Modric works tirelessly, helping out both in offence and defence. His assist to Vinicius in the game vs Granada is a quick reminder of his persistence, running at full pace to join the attack. Other players might not have even attempted the run considering Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr. were pretty much free in the attack and most probably would have found a way to score even without the Croat’s assistance.

Luka Modric is a tireless engine

Modric brings a lot to this team and deservedly has a starting spot in the team. But going forward, he should NOT start every game. There is only one reason for it but a very crucial one, and that is REST. Real Madrid has a very hectic schedule and a very long season up ahead and, they need Modric at his best, especially at the later stages of the season.

While the rest part holds true for all the players, it is especially important for Modric because of his age and the fact that he rarely gets rest. Unlike Toni Kroos, Modric still plays for his national team and doesn’t get a break during the international break. He’s an equally crucial player for Croatia and needs to play almost all games for the National team. That means he is ridiculously overworked and gets nearly zero chances to recover after games.

With a game nearly every three days from now until the Christmas break, Carlo Ancelotti needs to rest Modric, especially as the matches get tougher. It would not be good to lose Modric to an injury right now. Modric’s injury in the 2014/15 season during the key stretch of the season was one of the reasons Real Madrid ended up going trophyless and ultimately why Carlo Ancelotti was sacked. It would be wise for Ancelotti to learn from his mistakes from his last tenure.

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Another reason to rest Modric would be to keep him fresh and give him the platform to perform at his highest level for a longer duration. Already in the game vs Sevilla, he appeared a bit tired and was not at his best (although it could also be attributed to tactics employed in that game). Luka Modric’s resurgence came from the COVID break in the 2019/20 season and it is very clear that taking breaks helps him perform at his best level.