The dust has long settled after one of the greatest World Cups in football history, and while club football is already around the corner, we thought we’d reflect on two key statistics that two of Real Madrid’s midfielders — Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni — dominated the World Cup in.
Of course, as a disclaimer, these numbers don’t define either of these players. Both Tchouameni and Modric do so much that don’t show up in numbers. Both were tremendous, and both helped France and Croatia go deep into the World Cup. Nevertheless, analytics can often back up what the eye test tells us.
Luka Modric played 61 progressive passes in the World Cup, that’s the most of any player in the tournament and 12 more than Lionel Messi who was second on the list.
The Croatian was vital to his team’s ball progression, and fed vertical balls to his teammates while under pressure.
Modric was also fouled 15 times (among the top-five most fouled players), was second in passes into the final third, fourth in touches, fourth in interceptions, fourth in passes into the penalty area, and fourth in tackles.
Real Madrid’s midfield anchor had a brilliant tournament at the base of the midfield as he helped get France to the final. Besides his ball progression and incredible goal vs England, Tchouameni also read the game brilliantly on the defensive end, and had a tournament-high 14 interceptions. In second place on that list: Declan Rice and Josko Gvardiol who both had 11.