Both Martin Ødegaard and Luka Modric will be in Madrid for the entirety of preseason despite international call-up’s for the first week of September.
Luka Modric, soon to be 35-years-old, asked the Croatian FA not to call him up in order for the midfielder to have a complete preseason to properly prepare his body for a demanding upcoming season. Both he and Ivan Rakitic will not be part of the Croatia squad as they take on Portugal and France in the UEFA Nations League.
Meanwhile, recently recalled Martin Ødegaard, was seen at Vadebebas today for a check-up on his knee injury. Together with the Madrid physio’s, it was decided that the best option would be for the Norwegian to stay in Madrid and complete the preseason as not to aggravate the injury. Like Modric, he will be able to properly prepare his body for the demanding season ahead and will be given more time to impress Zidane. Despite being called-up, Norway expected Ødegaard may have to drop-out of the squad list and thus they called up a 25-man squad rather than the normal 23 players.
Luka Modric and Martin Ødegaard may not be the only players in the Madrid squad to forgo International Duty in favor of preseason. More players, especially those with niggling injuries or below par fitness levels, may choose to stay behind in order to properly prepare for the new season.