Luka Modric complimented Real Madrid’s midfield options and said he feels Los Blancos are well-prepared to succeed when Casemiro joins Manchester United.
Last month, Casemiro moved from Madrid to United for £60 million (€70 million), but Carlo Ancelotti’s team has made a strong start to the new campaign despite his absence.
Madrid has won all four of its LaLiga games going into Sunday’s home match against Mallorca. They also started their Champions League defense on Tuesday by hammering Celtic 3-0.
Madrid is now attempting to win its first five league games for just the second time in the 21st century after previously doing it in 2009–10. Madrid is the only team in the top five European leagues with a perfect record this season.
In Casemiro’s absence, players like Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, and Federico Valverde have stepped up.
Tchouameni, a recent acquisition for Madrid, has played the most minutes in La Liga this year of any midfielder, followed by Valverde (265), Modric (260), and Camavinga (222). Compared to the two managed by Toni Kroos, who has played 173 minutes, all four have more starts.
Casemiro won’t be missed, according to Modric, who told the team’s official website that Madrid has strong choices in his place:
“We’ve started well this year and have a strong team.
“In midfield, we lost an essential player in Casemiro.
“But we’ve got many other good players to replace him and do a good job.
“Tchouameni has adapted well. Camavinga’s second year, and he had a great first year.
“Kroos has been here for a long time. Valverde is also doing well in any position.
“[Dani] Ceballos is helping the team greatly, so we’re well-equipped in this position.”
Eden Hazard completed a 33-pass sequence for Madrid’s third goal, capping their trip to Celtic. That is the longest continuous build-up to any of Madrid’s 434 goals in the tournament since Opta data collection started in 2003-04.
Ancelotti emphasized that the Belgium forward’s goal was not indicative of a shift in Madrid’s playing style, though, in remarks made on Saturday.
The Madrid boss said:
“Madrid deserves the credit it gets but scoring a goal from a 33-pass play doesn’t mean that’s our whole identity.
“The game was almost over, and we wanted to finish it with a long spell of possession.
“But the stats say it’s easier to score in under ten passes. The numbers show very few goals come from over ten passes.
“You could say that playing a possession-based game has been fashionable and has seen success in recent years, but football is changing, and it’s more direct.
“Possession football is less popular than it has been recently in every country.”
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