Remember when Luka Modric was voted the best player in La Liga

On August 27, 2012, Luka Modric was released to Real Madrid after making the switch to his permanent club.

His performances for Tottenham and Croatia have made it clear that Modric could become an elite club, one that could compete for major European honors.

He starred for his country when they were tied to England for Euro 2008 before playing a key role in promoting Spurs to the Champions League for the first time. during the Premier League.

Twenty -six years into the peak of his reign, the time was right. Daniel Levy has struggled tooth and nail to keep him, ending Chelsea’s desire to allow the midfielder to move out for a fee of £ 30 million.

The Tottenham official expressed hope the move would begin to be a “long and productive team” with the La Liga giants. If that idea applies to the Spanish capital, Florentino Perez and Jose Mourinho are their husbands.

“I strongly urged Real Madrid to sign Modric because he has everything we need for the team – technology, knowledge and a good reading of the game, good timing. to decide, the quickness of the mind, he can play the ball long or short, number.from out of the country, he knows the pressure, he is smart with his position and strength. We need all that at Real Madrid, “Mourinho recalled after an interview with Sportske Novosti.

Everything about Madrid is expected to reign supreme for years to come.

Mourinho freed Barcelona from their elbow, in a way. Madrid won the 2011-12 league title with a record 100 points and 121 goals. They are the strongest attacking side in the history of the game.

Pep Guardiola tiredly flew to New York to take a sabbatical. Barcelona lost the coach that defined the era.

Spain won Euro 2012, the third major tournament not seen in a row, with a team featured in the Los Blancos quintet of Iker Casillas, Raul Albiol, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa and Xabi Alonso.

Madrid is a team full of winners and tough ones Decima – a 10th Champions League and the first since 2002 – was the first goal. Mourinho has previously won with two different teams.

No major players were bought, although Modric arrived with Michael Essien and Diego Lopez to strengthen the team. Stars Alvaro Morata and Nacho Fernandez from La Fabrica have been promoted to the first team.

Mourinho has a season

Everything starts to plan. Modric was signed between the two legs of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona. He made his first start at the Bernabeu to help see Madrid see the outfields win (2-1 at night; 4-4 at the club) over theirs. opponents.

The 2012-13 season began with investors, but the Super Cup was the only one they would carry that season. It was an announcement that Antonio Conte later called a “Mourinho moment” – which we saw again at Chelsea and Manchester United.

Hit, irritated, full of conflict and paranoia and can’t result in a small victory on the pitch. In other words, a catastrophic risk for new registrations to enter.

Mourinho’s men have scored just four points since their start in four games. Barcelona won and built an impossible leader.

As if strengthened by the selection of Guardiola’s right -hand man Tito Vilanova, the Catalan side fell by two points after 19 games, winning every side of the remaining division. only Madrid, where they drew 2-2 at home.

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Modric was not shown at that high price point. He signed after a draw with Valencia and win over Getafe, made his first start in their first Lions win of the season – 3-0 at home to Granada – and introduced Was played at half-time while Madrid followed in a 1-0 loss to Sevilla.

The Croatian started to add to the side as Madrid returned to their time on the road, taking 22 points from the next 24. The only game they didn’t win was on the trip to Camp Nou, where they fought for a title, even though Modric was left out.

At the time, he was often played as the No.10 in the 4-2-3-1 formation that Mourinho wanted, but he did not make the usual goal-scoring offers. in that case.

Previously, Mesut Ozil recorded a record of 28 assists and seven goals. That kind of lightning bolt was demanded by a company famous for its Galacticos.

The best example of La Liga

At Christmas, Modric collected one goal and one assist and found himself on the side of the XI that Mourinho wanted. Madrid went on an 18 -day strike after Barca’s Lions management and the offense was spotted on the spot.

That’s when sports in Madrid every day saw Marca make their ‘worst choice of the season’. Modric topped the list – ahead of Barcelona’s Alex Song, no less – after gaining 32% of the vote.

“This is Real Madrid. I know it’s very important for new players to be active here,” Modric told the Croatian newspaper.

“I’m not complaining, I’m not a human being, but it’s very difficult to change life in a big club like Madrid. I’ve had some good performances, if not in every game, but I believe I can guarantee what I have to offer. “

Apparently, Modric did that. Was he humble or misunderstood? It’s humbling to say that time has confirmed the young player at the Bernabeu.

He won four Champions Leagues and the Ballon d’Or and became an important player on European nights, until his thirties.

Modric didn’t become number 10. He wasn’t Ozil. He had five assists and two goals at once during his brilliant years in La Liga – numbers that, for sure, are more similar to those of Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.

But it took a long time to understand the Spanish capital.

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READ: Six Real Madrid players criticized by Spanish newspaper: Bale, Owen…

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The difference between Modric and not the Champions League semi-finals at that time was obvious.

Used in the No.10 performance in the first leg in Dortmund, Madrid were beaten 4-1. Their midfield was unable to withstand the force of the pressure from Jurgen Klopp’s side, and Robert Lewandowski picked up four. Borussia Dortmund may have picked up again.

Madrid were completely out of control on that first leg, but came back when Mourinho made a tactical tweak at the Bernabeu. Modric moved deep to join Xabi Alonso at the center of the midfield and led the game.

He finished 70 yards, more than the two he had on the first leg and most of the players on the pitch at a distance. Madrid won 2-0, one goal from another and a famous victory remontada.

It is the middle ground that we have been accustomed to seeing over the last ten years. He did not look back.

Then came Carlo Ancelotti, Ozil and Kaka went. A year later Toni Kroos arrived and Casemiro began to break up.

Madrid have switched from 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3, a system that allows it to control games in a position between a deep player and a deep player. . trequartista. Like Xavi and Iniesta.

Reciprocal recovery

“I said at the beginning of the season he wasn’t very good until the end of February,” Croatian manager Igor Stimac told Marca in February 2013.

“It’s supposed to be that if you really think about getting into a fitness routine, without the pre-season, it’s not available.”

His boss at the club level wasn’t too worried about his performance.

“He has slowly changed his life at Real Madrid,” Mourinho told Sportske in 2021.

“Despite all the demands of the day, the pressure from the crowd. Luke is a balanced man and understands himself. He learned what Real Madrid is all about very quickly, to understand measuring the size of the company and their goals. “

Real Madrid
Real Madrid’s Luka Modric kisses the cup after their last UEFA Champions League win against Juventus FC 1-4. Wales National Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. June 3, 2017.

The idea is relevant.

“I can speak well of Mourinho,” Modric told Marca after their year. “She is a good mentor, she is happy to work with him.

“She taught me to play harder. He’s always trying to get more than the best for each player. If you give 100% ask for 110%. If you are not playing as well as you could, someone will come and take your place.

This was a season when the Portuguese coach chose left, right and center battles. He fired team captain Iker Casillas and reportedly stumbled upon large -room photos of Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo and left at the end of that unannounced announcement, returning to Chelsea after burning its bridges at the Bernabeu.

But Mourinho was not the only one to say goodbye to Modric, a player who endured the worst years of his Madrid career under his wing and became a scapegoat for the Madrid newspaper. He tried and did not take her to Chelsea in 2014.

“When someone can make history what they do, they become immortal. Luka Modric won the Ballon d’Or, he’s unparalleled,” Mourinho said.

“Luke, in Spain, plays for Real Madrid and is a player that everyone admires,” talkSPORT told Euro 2020.

“I’m very happy. I’m the one who will take him to Madrid.”

By Nestor Watach


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