“I can understand what Modric might think” – Real Madrid Boss Carlo Ancelotti Admits It Is ‘Very Difficult’ To Bench A Legend Like Luka Modric

Real Madrid Icon Luka Modric Is One Of The 10 Active Players With Most Appearances In The UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid Icon Luka Modric Is One Of The 10 Active Players With Most Appearances In The UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has heaped praise on Luka Modric for his match-winning performance against Sevilla, admitting it was “complicated” to keep the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner on the bench.

Luka Modric Scored A Stunner Off The Bench Against Sevilla

Carlo Ancelotti went with a three-man midfield of Federico Valverde, Aurelien Tchouameni, and Toni Kroos for Real Madrid’s La Liga Matchday 26 meeting with Sevilla on Sunday night (February 25), leaving Luka Modric on the bench. Los Blancos came close to breaking the deadlock a few times, but it was destined to come off the magical right boot of Modric.

Modric came off the bench in the 75th minute, and six minutes later, he scored one of the best goals of the 2023-24 La Liga season. The 38-year-old applied a delicate first touch to Loic Bade’s attempted clearance, taking the ball past Boubakary Soumare and opening up the space to shoot. In typical fashion, Modric put his boot through the ball from the edge of the D, sending it beyond Orjan Nyland and into the back of the net. It marked the Real Madrid No. 10’s second goal in the 2023-24 La Liga season.

Carlo Ancelotti Opens Up About The Tough Job Of Benching Real Madrid Legend Luka Modric

Speaking to the press after the win over Sevilla, Carlo Ancelotti first lauded Luka Modric’s stunning performance.

He said (via Managing Madrid):

We celebrate for Luka today for a great goal, because it gives us three points. He’s fresh and brought that, and he showed how complicated it is to leave him on the bench, with how he scored and how he sets an example for all of the squad in every session. It’s difficult to leave a player like him on the bench.

The Italian tactician then explained how tough it was to bench a player like Modric, but hoped the veteran understood his situation.

Ancelotti added:

It’s very difficult. I went through it in the last year of my career. I can understand what Modrić might think, when he doesn’t play and is a bit sad, but he understands. Everyone thinks that at the end of their career, but I don’t think he thinks that. He shows he’s fresh and that he has legs, he doesn’t look like a player who is 39. I’ve seen what he can do.”

Modric will become a free agent at the end of his contract on June 30, 2024 and he has yet to sign an extension. Last night, he showed he still has plenty of soccer left in him, but whether Real Madrid will be the ones to benefit from it remains anybody’s guess.

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