Friday, December 8, 2023

Ancelotti’s slate and the siren song of Saudi Arabia keep Modric away from the Bernabéu

Carlo Ancelotti faces his most complicated obstacle, an unexpected obstacle on the way to the start of the season. The situation of Luka Modric who has a bad fit in the current Real Madrid scheme, conditioned by the dazzling appearance by Jude Bellingham.

A drawing that penalizes Modric

Carletto has chosen to modify the tactical drawing to a diamond midfield, with the Englishman at the top of the diamond to reach the area, or with 4-4-2, in which the wide players work overtime to help the full-backs. And in both provisions the figure of Modricat 38 years old, squeaks. Luka was supposed to be the link between the midfield and the attack last season, the game provider for Vinicius and Benzema, whom he always put in an advantageous situation with his passes.

But Karim’s flight to Saudi Arabia and the arrival of Bellingham have altered Madrid’s attacking ecosystem, reorganizing the game in arrivals from behind or with lateral crosses to Joselu, a resource that is giving results to the whites. This has caused the coach to opt for Camavinga, Tchouaméni and Valverde in the most physically deployed positions, with Kroos assuming the role of metronome alongside them and unleashing a Bellingham team in attack that thanks him with goals. The Englishman has eight, six in the League and two in the Champions League, to which he adds three assists.

UEFA Champions League – SSC Napoli vs Real Madrid. CIRO FUSCO

Given this situation, Ancelotti, who has seen the team win seven of the eight games it has played, has left Modric on the bench more than usual. It is true that he played in the Champions League match against Unión Berlin and the League match at the Metropolitano, but in Naples he took the field in the 65th minute for Kroos, significantly improving the team’s performance. In the League he has only started one of the six games, playing 204 minutes in which he has not scored or provided any assists. And in the Champions League he has started one of the two games, But he has not made his debut as a scorer or as an assistant either.

Modric has not hidden his discomfort at the situation he is experiencing in Madrid at the start of the season. He thus recognized it in an interview for the Croatian media Sportske Novosti in which he stated: “Real Madrid expressed their wish for it to continue in the spring, I had the same wish. We sat down and quickly agreed. This has been the case with Real Madrid for 12 years and it is not going to change. Our relationship is extraordinary. My only condition for staying was that they treat me as a competitive player, as I have been until now, and not that they keep me in the squad based on past merits.”

The problem is that in summer He received an unbeatable offer of 200 million from Saudi Arabia and met with Carlo Ancelotti, who told him that his role at Madrid was not going to change, and that convinced him to stay. The Croatian postponed his move to Saudi football for a season and at the Bernabéu they breathed a sigh of relief. But Luka’s role has changed, he has lost prominence and is angry with the coach.

Conversation with Ancelotti on the return from Naples

On the return trip from Naples, Ancelotti had a conversation with him in which he assured him that he would regain his prominence as the games progressed, but it seems that Modric does not quite believe it and is sounding out the market with a view to a possible departure in January. The alternatives are Arabia, which insists on acquiring his services, and the MLS, where there are several interested teams, including David Beckham and Leo Messi’s Inter Miami.

Modric, who has 496 games, 23 titles and a Ballon d’Or with Real Madrid, He has only started against Atlético and Unión Berlin and everything indicates that he will return to the eleven this Saturday (4:15 p.m.) against Osasuna at the Bernabéu. Ancelotti is trying to solve the sudoku, keep everyone happy and maintain the competitiveness of a team that is unbalanced in attack. And in that scenario, managing the prominence of Modric, Madrid’s penultimate Ballon d’Or winner, has become a problem for Carletto.


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