In the 2021 summer transfer window, Luka Modric swapped Tottenham Hotspur for Real Madrid in a £30-million transfer. While the Croatian made a name for himself in North London, he cemented his status as an all-time great at the Santiago Bernabeu. It’s no secret that Modric is one of the finest players of his generation, but where does he rank in terms of Los Blancos’ best ever midfielders?
Setting the Standard in the Modern Era
According to Transfermarkt, Modric ranks 20th on Madrid’s all-time appearance list. At the time of writing, the Croatian has played 383 games for Los Blancos. To put that into perspective, he ranks above Alfredo di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, Luis Figo, Ronaldo Nazario, Zinedine Zidane, and many other world-class players. In terms of midfielders, only Guti, Michel, and Pirri have more appearances to their name than Modric.
Although not a goalscoring midfielder, Modric has recorded 26 goals throughout his Madrid career. In terms of assists, the 35-year-old has set up 61 goals, which is the fifth-most from a midfielder in the club’s history. Although his ability to carve open defences is undoubtedly impressive, the five-foot-eight midfielder is arguably the best pace-setting midfielder of his generation. As per 90min, Modric was the most dominant footballer in every match on Madrid’s journey to their 13th Champions League trophy in 2017-18. En route to the final, Los Blancos faced Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Bayern Munich, and Liverpool, making the 35-year-old’s dominance even more impressive.
Throughout his Madrid career, the £30-million addition has won two league titles, four Champions Leagues, and various cup competitions. Not only that, but he also finished as a runner-up with Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, losing 4-2 to France. In leading his team to the pinnacle, the Zadar-born player picked up the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball award before winning the Ballon d’Or later that year. In claiming the coveted trophy, Modric became the first Croatian to win the prize, as we wrote at www.RealMadridNews.com, and the first player since Kaka in 2007 to triumph that wasn’t either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.
He Doesn’t Appear to be Slowing Down
In Madrid’s quarter-final first-leg clash with Liverpool in the 2020-21 Champions League campaign, Modric turned back the clock and delivered a world-class display. Despite being in the latter years of his career, the 35-year-old proved that he still has plenty left to offer. Not only did the Ballon d’Or winner dictate the tempo, but he also assisted Los Blancos’ third goal.
Although Modric’s contract is due to expire at the end of the 2020-21 campaign, Football Espana states that the World Cup runner-up has an agreement in place with the 34-time La Liga winners. Now, it’s just a matter of waiting for the official announcement. Over the years, Madrid have been ruthless in moving on players who reach a certain age, such as Iker Casillas and Pepe. As such, it speaks volumes about the club’s desire to retain Modric beyond his existing deal. Despite his age, Modric would likely get into any midfield in Europe, and that’s why keeping him is paramount to Zidane’s side achieving their goals.
Madrid still have plenty left to play for this season. As of April 16th, Los Blancos are one point behind Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga and only one point ahead of Barcelona. Moreover, they also have a semi-final clash with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea on the horizon. If Modric stays fit, the Spanish giants will likely be among the favourites for both competitions at www.Asiabet.org. The Champions League is arguably the most sought-after honour in European club football. Because of that, the availability of outright betting markets ensures that it’s a popular tournament among bettors at bonus-offering operators, such as 10CRIC and 1XBET. Not only that, but there’s an array of odds available, meaning that users can take advantage of lucrative offerings.
Modric Could End His Career as Madrid’s Best-Ever Midfielder
Modric doesn’t have Zidane’s flair or the same number of appearances for Madrid as Pirri, but he’s a unique talent in his own right. Los Blancos always sign top-level midfielders, but they’re unlikely to ever find another quite like the 35-year-old Croatian. As such, there’s no hiding from the fact that Modric will go down as the best midfielder of his generation and potentially even the best in Madrid history.