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Madridistas Abroad: Modrić, Mendy and Varane face off in Nations League

Ferland Mendy and Martin Ødegaard also saw some international time


Luka Modrić and Croatia faced off against Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy and France in the Nations League on Wednesday in another rematch of the 2018 World Cup Final.

All three players played for the entirety of the match. Modrić once again captained the Croatians and was quite involved for the duration of the 2-1 loss.

Modrić’s second half of play was more of a classic performance that we’re used to seeing from the 35-year-old. His passing was superb and he was involved in creating chances and dictating play. Modrić’s great run and effort led to a link-up sequence between himself, Josip Brekalo and Nikola Vlašić for the equalizing goal; the exact same sequence against Sweden.

Modrić had more passes than any other player in the match with 90 passes completed, according to SofaScore. He also had more touches than any of them with 110 touches on the ball.

Varane also played well in this match. He was once again paired alongside Clement Lenglet and they looked more comfortable in this performance together. There was nothing flashy or noticeable, just good defending considering how Croatia held possession and forced more chances.

France manager Didier Deschamps threw a bit of a curveball when he started Mendy at right back for a full 90 minutes. Mendy was effective in the first half; his off ball movement was still good on his off side. He also created Griezmann’s goal that opened the scoring in Zagreb just eight minutes in.

Outside of this match, Martin Ødegaard also featured for around 80 minutes in the Nations League for Norway in their 1-0 win over Northern Ireland.

Ødegaard looked pretty stellar again after an absolute top performance between him and Erling Håland the other night against Romania. He created a couple of through balls that led to good chances for Norway. He also had three key passes in the first half alone and directly created Stuart Dallas’ own goal from a well-taken corner.

Serbia also played in the Nations League against Turkey in a 2-2 draw on Wednesday.

Luka Jović was relegated to bench duty after playing the full match against Hungary over the weekend.

These players and their respective nations will all be back in action for the fifth and sixth match days of the Nations League in November. For now, they will turn their attention back to Real Madrid as they prepare to take on Cádiz on Saturday.

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