'Strange feeling' - Modric hits out at reduced Real Madrid role

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 8 Sept 2023 16:54 BST
  • 3 min read
Real Madrid's Luka Modric
© ProShots

Luka Modric turned down the Saudi Pro League to stay at Real Madrid this summer, but has only started one of a possible four La Liga games since.

Modric was subject to interest from Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal this summer, but unlike former Madrid teammates like Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, he rejected their advances despite the riches on offer.

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But Real spent an initial €103 million on Jude Bellingham in the recent transfer window, and Carlo Ancelotti has since build the team around the England midfielder, with Bellingham at No.10 and Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni and Fede Valverde in the engine room behind him.

READ: Toni Kroos SLAMS Saudi Arabia: 'a decision against football'

Bellingham has hit an incredible five goals and an assist from his four starts, but Modric has admitted his frustration at watching on from the bench.

Ancelotti 'has his own reasons'

"Nobody's happy when they don't play," he told Croatian sports daily Sportske Novosti. "After the career I've had, it's an especially strange feeling for me. But the coach decided that, for his own reasons.

'My only condition for staying was to be treated as a competitive player, and not to be kept in the squad on the basis of past merits.. I'm completely calm. I'm aware that I have to work hard and sooner or later everything will fall into place."

READ: Bellingham's Alcaraz bromance puts Mbappe to Real Madrid in doubt

Before Benzema's win last year, Modric was the last player not called Lionel Messi or Ronaldo to be crowned Ballon d'Or winner when he took the award in 2018. He has won five Champions Leagues with Madrid, but understands their need to move forward.

"These young guys are top players, that's why they're at Real," he said. "We veterans must help them progress and gradually take over the starting roles at the level that this club is looking for."

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