How Luka Modric is shouldering the weight in Carlo Ancelotti’s absence

At the age of 36, many footballers retire or even start applying for coaching licenses, but at Real Madrid, Luka Modric is still thriving.

He has played almost 35 games this season amassing up to 2,673 minutes and has cemented himself as a key player under Ancelotti amongst the likes of Karim Benzema, Thibaut Courtois and his midfield Partners Toni Kroos and Carlos Casemiro.

Luka has played a key role in many important games for Real Madrid such as the Supercopa semi-final vs Barcelona, the final against Athletic Bilbao and the PSG game at home in the Round of 16 stages of the Champions League.

The Croatian has been at Real Madrid for 9 years and has just signed a deal to extend his stay at the club by a year, making it 10 years at Real Madrid, after which he is rumoured to retire.

Modric contributes to the dressing room positively. Even though he is the oldest member of the squad, he maintains high spirits ahead of and after the game, as evident from his post-match celebration after PSG win.

In a recent La Liga game vs Celta Vigo, Real’s defender Eder Militao was facing some discomfort on the pitch.

Luka Modric, who was subbed off at the time, spotted Militao looking down and holding his leg. He immediately got active and asked Nacho to get ready to go in.

Modric was also seen yelling at Militao to get down so the play comes to a stop and the Brazilian Defender can be replaced.

If Militao were to overexert himself, an injury would have been the most likely outcome, that too right before an important game as Real Madrid plays Chelsea in UCL up next. This would have mirrored Benzema’s injury against Mallorca, causing him to miss out on the El Clasico against Barcelona, where the visitors won 4-0.

Modric’s actions may have saved Real from a crushing defeat in the upcoming first leg against Chelsea, as Militao is the key defender in Madrid’s squad.

Modric only regains his smile and loosens up when Militao has returned to his side at the bench without an injury.

He still maintains a high excitement level even after being subbed off, which is very rare for a 36-year old to do in a normal league game. Real Madrid won the match 3-1 and Luka goes out on the pitch to chant “Asi Ganar Madrid” (This is how Madrid wins) with the away fans.

Usually, these kinds of orders are given by the coach, but Real’s head coach, Carlo Ancelotti missed out on this match due to COVID-19.

Ancelotti’s son Davide Ancelotti, who is also an assistant manager of the club, was in charge of the team, but according to La Liga rules, he cannot give instructions to the first team as he does not have the necessary license.

Luka might need to put a double shift in as Tuchel’s men are primed and ready to welcome the 13 times Champions League winners at Stamford Bridge on April 6th.