How Does Luka Modric Fit in Madrid?

Real Madrid spent about $42 million to bring the little Croatian to the Bernabeu, so a little bit of thought must have gone into this move. At the moment, it appears that Luka has a comfortable place between Cajellon and Granero on the Madrid bench. Modric will have to play exceptionally well to crack the first 11 ahead of either Ozil or Di Maria, perhaps. With Xabi Alonso, Lass Diarra, Ronaldo and Sami Khedira firmly in the mix, there is no obvious space for Modric. Several factors played perfectly into this transfer: Levy turning down a 40 million pound bid for Modric from Chelsea last year (a risky stroke of genius that set a ridiculously inflated market value for Modric); the player wanting out of London at all cost; Madrid’s miserable start to the season and delusion that they are getting Modric at a bargain price.

Luka Modric is a very nice player, a creator with vision and excellent sense for the game, but he is not a dominant presence in the middle of the pitch that can take a game over. At his best, he is comparable to Nasri and David Silva of Man City. Modric has enjoyed a nice career with Zagreb and Spurs, but he might have made a mistake in going to Madrid, a brawny team defined by its physical play and very aggressive mentality. Modric is a tiny (he could not fill out the smallest RM jersey available during his presentation to the media), skillful player with sensitivities that perked up during the past couple of seasons and, ironically, ideally suited for Barca’s tiki-taka style. Above all, he will be shunned by the huge egos at his new club – Higuain, Sergio Ramos, Benzema, Ronaldo, Mourinho etc. If his opportunities are sparse, by January he may ask for playing time elsewhere.

Madrid seemingly learned nothing from the $90 mil Kaka disaster. Did Mourinho ask for Modric? How was the case for his acquisition made while no one else was bidding? The vultures (Milan’s Galliani) are probably already on the phone with a cheap loan offer.