It was the veteran, Luka Modric, who talked to the press after two back to back defeats against the eternal rival, Barcelona, in the space of three days. The Croatian was refreshingly honest and blunt in his assumption of the team’s position and how they are feeling: “When you lose two games against your biggest rivals, it is not something that makes you feel good. There is no time to mull over what has happened. We have to focus on what we have to do & forget what happened. The Copa game wasn’t bad, we just lacked a goal.”
As is so often the case, the question of Cristiano Ronaldo came up. Would it be his goals that the team are missing? In what can possibly be a “call-out” to some of his teammates, Modric said the following— “Cristiano is a player that every team would miss. Looking for a replacement is almost impossible. Of course we miss him, given everything he did for the club. What the club tried to do was divide the burden among the players, and that isn’t easy” Modric stated.
“Cristiano scored 50 goals, and you can’t find someone else who can do that. Some had to take a step forward, and though not score 50, but at least score 15-20, or even ten goals. This is what we are missing. That’s why I think scoring is our biggest problem this season. Cristiano is not here, so we cannot continue to complain for the next ten years that we don’t have him. The club has put faith in other players, like Gareth, Asensio, Karim and has bought Mariano and Vinicius, who is doing well for his age. But sometimes things don’t work out as we want”
Luka stated what everyone already knew, the club took a gamble and placed their faith in the likes of Bale, Asensio, Benzema, Isco, etc. as they likely didn’t want to risk losing those players nor were the big names available in the summer market. The gamble, unfortunately, has not paid off. Though, Modric was quick to note that this Madrid team is never dead. “Real Madrid are always pronounced dead, but always come back. In 2015, we didn’t win anything, and they still said we were dead. Then you all know what happened afterwards and what we have won since. I believe this team has a very bright future” he commented.
Lastly, Luka was forthright in his defense of teammate, Gareth Bale. “Bale? Sometimes a player runs into this in his career, a time in which he doesn’t feel at his best. Everything passes though. It happened to me in the past. I see him being happy and he has the desire to do well. We cannot forget what Bale has done for the club, as these things can be easy to forget. He wants to work, and he wants to be the same Gareth he has always been” he concluded.