Luka Modric admits 'strange feeling' over reduced role at Real Madrid

Luka Modric is unhappy about his reduced role at Real Madrid as he admits it’s a ‘strange feeling’ but vows to ‘work hard’ to win back his place

  • Luka Modric admits it is a ‘strange feeling’ to be on the bench at Real Madrid
  • The Croatian has vowed to ‘work hard’ to win back a regular place for his club 
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’

Luka Modric has admitted that it was a ‘strange feeling’ to lose his regular starting role at Real Madrid, after three consecutive games starting on the bench. 

The veteran midfielder – who turns 38 on Saturday – has vowed to ‘work hard’ to win back his place in Carlo Ancelotti’s side, as a wealth of young players are creating fierce competition for opportunities in Madrid.

Modric made his first LaLiga start of the new campaign in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Getafe, and despite being at the top of world football for some time, he admitted that the transition to being a bit-part player was something he had to adjust to.  

Via ESPN, Modric told Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti: ‘Nobody is happy when they don’t play. After the career I’ve had, it’s an especially strange feeling for me.

‘But the coach [Ancelotti] decided that, for his own reasons.

Luka Modric admits it is a ‘strange feeling’ to have a reduced role at Real Madrid this season

The veteran midfielder has pledged to help support Real’s young players including Vinicius Jr

‘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 am completely calm. I’m aware that I have to work hard and sooner or later everything will fall into place.’

Real Madrid is stacked with talented young players, including Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and Jude Bellingham. The latter has fit right into the Spanish team since his high-profile move from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.   

On the competition that Modric faces, the Croatian said: ‘These young guys are top players, that’s why they’re at Real.

‘We veterans must help them progress and gradually take over the starting roles at the level that this club is looking for.’

Modric is back with his national side this week, as Croatia host Latvia in a Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday, before travelling to Armenia for a second game on Monday. 

Real Madrid have four wins in four so far in LaLiga, and return to action on Sunday September 17 at home to Real Sociedad, three days before a Champions League home game against Union Berlin.  

Modric is on international duty in his birthday week, as Croatia face Latvia and Armenia

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