Modric: This is not the real Real Madrid

The midfielder says the team is struggling and in a crisis but maintains they will come back strong while also heaping praise on Martin Odegaard

Luka Modric says the Real Madrid have not been at their best in recent weeks, but insists they will get back to their best.

Slip ups against Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao have seen the world champions surrender their place at the top of La Liga to Barcelona, while they scraped through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League despite losing 4-3 to Schalke in midweek.

Modric admits the team is not playing as well as usual, but is confident head coach Carlo Ancelotti can lift the team again.

“This is not the real Real Madrid, but I am sure we will get back to the level we were, hen people talked about us as one of best teams ever,” he told Sportske novosti.

“We players talk a lot and Ancelotti has enough experience to lift the team. The Levante match on Sunday will not be easy, but we badly need a win to raise our confidence ahead of El Clasico. Although I don’t expect it to be a title deciding match at Nou Camp.

“The whole team is suffering in this crisis, not just Gareth Bale. And we can only get out of it as a team.” 

The midfielder has only recently returned from a lengthy injury layoff and spoke of his delight at being back in the team.

“My first thought as I entered the pitch was ‘I just want to return to the locker room happy’. I was surprised and touched by the fans when they cheered me while we were warming up. I didn’t expect that. But I am no saviour, there are no saviours in football. 

“I feel good but don’t ask me how soon will I be at my best, I don’t know. Now we have one match per week and that is optimal for me to get in best shape. 

“During my rehabilitation process there were some tough moments, especially during the first two weeks. I was only supposed to lie around and do nothing. I even cried when I found out I would be out for four months. I am very emotional.”

Modric also spoke highly of new Madrid starlet Martin Odegaard.

“Odegaard asked me about our qualifying match between Croatia and Norway. He is calm and a nice lad. You can tell he is a great talent with an outstanding left foot and he’s a great dribbler. He is light, though, but he is still a boy.”

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