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Modrić: “I’d prefer for there to be a crowd at Anfield”

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The midfielder previewed the second leg. 

Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Luka Modrić was the player selected for media duties ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League second leg against Liverpool at Anfield, and the player spoke about what he expects from the English side. He said: “I expect a very demanding game, where we’ll have to be up to the standards of this competition. We’ll need to try to repeat what we did in the first game and attack and defend. We can’t just defend the result. We have to go out to try to win the game. It’s hard to play two games against the same team in the same way.”

Asked about the lack of fans and how this seems to have really been affecting Liverpool, he replied: “To be honest, I would like to play in Anfield with a crowd. The atmosphere there, where I’ve played with Tottenham and Real Madrid before, is amazing. Everyone wants to play with the crowd. But, we’re not thinking about that and if it’s an advantage or not. It’s just the situation we’re in.”

Modrić spoke about the injury situation and the absence of Lucas Vázquez, the latest to end up on the medical report. On that, the Croatian said: “The injury to Lucas affects us a lot. I hope he can recover soon and well. Of course these things unite us more. There are a lot of players out injured right now too, but I think we’re good. We need to keep going. We’ve worked for eight or nine months to be in this position where we can fight for everything. So, we can’t complain now about fatigue. We have to keep going. We have to be professional, just like we have been up until now.”

Next, he was asked about the complaints from opposition about Real Madrid’s recent victories, such as Jurgen Klopp’s anger after the first leg or the confrontation he had with Gerard Piqué at the end of El Clásico. To that, Modrić responded: “What they say outside can’t take anything away from what we’re doing. There are always many complaints against us, but that’s normal when you’re the best team in the world.”

His partnership with Toni Kroos was brought up and he was asked if the German is the player he has felt the most comfortable with during his career. He replied: “We’ve been playing together for many years, so I can say that Toni is one of the players with whom I’ve felt the most comfortable. There are other players too. But, as for Toni, I like playing with him. Let’s see how long we keep playing together and enjoying each other.”

As with every interview or press conference appearance that the midfielder has had this season, his contract – which expires in the summer – was brought up. On that, he could only say: “My contract renewal process is going well, but I can’t say more. I’ve always said that I want to stay because I feel good here. I hope to stay next year, but I can’t say more.”

Finally, Modrić was asked about Florentino Pérez’s reelection as Real Madrid president and the possibility of Pérez signing Kylian Mbappé this summer. To that, he said: “I congratulate the president. I’m sure he is keen to build a great team once again, although we already have a great team. He has always done great things for Real Madrid. I’m sure he’ll keep doing that. Lots of things come out about transfers, but I can’t get into that. Speaking of Kylian, he’s a great player and his shown this with club and country. Great players will always be welcomed at Real Madrid, but it wouldn’t be right of me to speak about players from other teams. We’ll see what happens next season, but he’s one of the top players in the world.”