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Notes & Quotes: September 27, 2018

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Modric feels his recognition is deserved and two ex-Barcelona players have thoughts about Real Madrid

Sevilla FC v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Modric happy with FIFA’s Best Men’s Player recognition

Luka Modric was interviewed after winning the Men’s Player of the Year award at FIFA’s TheBest awards ceremony.

“I am happy because other players are recognized, the ones before deserved to win but couldn’t do it.”

“The goals are important, especially players like Cristiano and Messi are apart from this world. They are the two players of the world.”

“But other players have to be recognized when they have a good year. I am happy it happened this way and I hope it happens in the future with other midfielders or defenders.”

“Of course I would change everything to have won in Russia. For me, the team is always more important. And I would of course change all my individual trophies for that trophy to be World Cup champions.”

“But of course this is also recognition for all the hard work, for the season that I had for Real Madrid and the national team. And for this I am happy that people recognize me as the best for this year.”

Luka had a lot to say about winning best player of the year. He seems very humbled about being considered over Ronaldo and Messi, something that hasn’t happened in quite a while. I would think most players would agree with Modric about winning as a team rather than just as an individual, though it certainly doesn’t hurt.

Modric being nominated and winning shows that perhaps these awards are going in a different direction in the near future. It shows that there’s not just two different players who will win it every year, but now more players may be considered as finalists and eventual winners. And so, Luka is correct in saying that this might open the gates for midfielders to win these types of awards going forward.

Dani Alves believes Real Madrid are more of a team without Ronaldo

Dani Alves was asked about his thoughts on this year’s Real Madrid side without Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I think that, contrary to what everybody thinks, Madrid is more of a team without Cristiano.”

“Now it’s a bit more difficult than it was before, before it was complicated but focused a lot on Cristiano, and now it’s a bit more dangerous, at least how I see football and my concept of this game.”

This subject has been done to death, seems like every player has been asked at this point about Real Madrid without Ronaldo. But, it’s definitely a nice change of pace to see an ex-Barcelona player have something relatively positive to say about Real.

Alves’ comments sort of parallel what Bale said about this season’s Real side, in that they both believe Real are more of a team without Ronaldo.

Overall though, it remains to be seen what the team will really be like without him, we can’t make an official ruling until the season is over. And it doesn’t help the case that their first loss in LaLiga was a complete domination by Sevilla, the first tough side they’ve truly faced so far. We’ll see what happens in El Derbi on Saturday.

Puyol disses Real Madrid’s past season

While Alves was fairly complimentary, Carlos Puyol was not.

“Barcelona have always fought for everything.”

“If Barcelona had a season like Real Madrid last year, they would kill us.”

“They focused on the Champions League, they played heads or tails but at Barcelona you cannot do that, we have another mentality.”

Puyol is exhibiting Xavi levels of bitterness towards Real in this interview. Obviously, league play didn’t go anywhere near as well as Real would’ve hoped as they finished third. I also don’t know what he’s referring to when he says “they would kill us”, assuming he means the media against Barcelona.

It’s really all relative to what you believe is more important, the domestic league and league cups or the Champions League (if you can only have one choice). Certainly from the voters’ perspectives of these player awards, they seem to value the Champions League more since Real players have been sweeping these individual awards.

There never seems to really be a media bias against Barcelona, so not sure what Puyol is getting worked up over. This would be a completely different conversation had Real been trophy-less, but they weren’t and I’m certain they’re completely satisfied with “playing heads or tails” to win their 13th European title.