Carlo Ancelotti has said that « it’s quite surprising » that midfielder Luka Modric doesn’t have the same role as he did in the past at Real Madrid, but stressed he has « no problem » with him.
Modric, 38, did not feature in Madrid’s last two matches against Girona and Las Palmas and has played just 287 minutes so far this season.
Ancelotti, however, still defines him as an important player in his squad.
He said: « It’s quite surprising that he doesn’t have the same role as he had in the past, although he played the first Champions League game and the derby. In the last two games he has not played simply because the competition in midfield is so high. We have no problem with him and he has no problem with us. I have great respect for him as a player and as a person, but sometimes I have to make decisions that cost everyone a lot, including me.
« There is nothing new, I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just a technical decision of the last two games, which can change in the next two ».
Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde also spoke of his admiration for Modric, calling him a « warrior in football ».
He added: « His role is the same as always. He is Luka Modric. For us, for me, he has been a point of reference since I arrived, he still is, even if he doesn’t have the role he wants. He hasn’t made a bad face, and that says a lot about him. He is a warrior in football. He is super-competitive. He continues to make history at Real Madrid and in football with so many years. We youngsters have to continue to enjoy him and keep making the most of him until the last day. »
Madrid play Napoli away in the Champions League today.
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