CM Luka Modric
And now we will quickly move to Toni Kroos’ legendary midfield partner, Luka Modric. The Croatian Magician has been at his absolute best in the Champions League recently, asserting himself as a Ballon d’Or candidate in his own right along with several of his teammates, including two of them (Courtois and Benzema) mentioned earlier.
Modric’s hope-giving miracle assist to Rodrygo Goes against Chelsea is one of the greatest in the history of the Champions League. And beyond that trademark trivela past, Modric did so much important work to keep Real from being overrun in midfield.
A great defender and a tireless runner, Modric is the creative spark for Real Madrid in so many ways. You get the feeling that if the first leg ends up being another nail-biter for the Merengues, Modric will pull another rabbit out of his hat to make sure Real end up with the result they need to help them advance.
LW Vinicius Jr.
If Kyle Walker cannot play against Real Madrid due to an injury, then Vinicius Jr.’s chances of winning the Man of the Match go up drastically. Vinicius is one of the most unstoppable wingers in world football, as he has become a more confident finisher under Carlo Ancelotti and has added real danger as a crosser. After all, it was Vini who provided the assist for Karim’s first against Chelsea in the first leg and also the tie-winning header for Big Benz at the Bernabeu.
Vini Jr. loves putting defenders on skates, and he is so, so good at getting into the opposing penalty area. Lethal in transition, Vini is the player around whom Carlo Ancelotti’s attack is built, as Carletto knows Vini has the speed, skill, and now end product to make transition opportunities – and make them count.
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A goal or an assist from Vini could go a long way in helping Real Madrid win this first leg on the road. It is wonderful to consider Vini a superstar difference-maker, and Los Blancos could ver well need him to make the difference again in order to get past a tactically brilliant and enviably-balanced Manchester City side.