By the age of 37, most players are winding down or have even hung up the boots entirely, but not Luka Modric. He’s still bossing European nights for Real Madrid.
Carlo Ancelotti had recently claimed that Modric would be taking on a more supportive role this season, to allow the likes of Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni to flourish.
But the 37-year-old isn’t showing any signs of slowing down as his latest display against Liverpool proves he is football’s own Benjamin Button.
Liverpool’s midfield has been heavily scrutinised this year due to its ageing core. The likes of Jordan Henderson and James Milner can’t quite keep up the intensity that they previously could.
Well, Modric taught them a footballing lesson at Anfield and proved his eternal nature. Three successful dribbles, an assist and four ground duels won, we’ll call that a successful evening for him.
Klopp wasn’t in much of a mood to discuss Real Madrid’s players after the game but he did comment on Modric when asked about his contract situation with Real Madrid.
“Yeah, fantastic player and I’m pretty sure Carlo [Ancelotti] and Real Madrid will do the right thing for the right player,” the Liverpool boss told reporters after the match.
Modric is literally more than twice as old as his midfield counterpart Stefan Bajcetic, who was Liverpool’s youngest Champions League starter ever at 18 years old.
At age 18, Modric had already been named Bosnian Premier League Player of the Year whilst out on loan at Zrinjski Mostar. Bajcetic hadn’t yet been born – but look at him sprint away from the teenager in the build-up to Madrid’s fifth.
Modric is filthy pic.twitter.com/GGmhldjqgE
— Dean (@DeanJoannou) February 21, 2023
“He was the same Modric as always,” Ancelotti told reporters. “He was tenacious, he never stopped, he was confident. He was the key to getting out of their pressing.”
The Croatian midfielder has already won five Champions League titles with Real Madrid and after their latest showing, we wouldn’t be surprised if he made it six this year.
Prior to his demolition job of Liverpool, Modric himself spoke on his Real Madrid future and the desire he has to earn himself a new contract.
“I’d like to deserve to stay here on my own merit not just as a freebie,” Modric told Sky Sports. “No one has given me anything for free in my career and I don’t want that to happen now either.
“If the club think I deserve a contract then I’d love to stay, but only on merit. Not just based on what I have done here or my past or the history of what I have achieved.”
“This is the club of my life and whatever happens between now and the end of the season, no one can take that away or break that feeling and ruin that relationship.”
His performance at Anfield had left Liverpool fans stunned. He was even given a standing ovation by some sections of fans after he was taken off in the second half.
Standing applause untuk Modric dari fans Liverpool. Age is just a number! pic.twitter.com/WlsVrwlyEE
— SuporterFC (@SuporterFC) February 22, 2023
Modric deserves his seat at the table with the best midfielders of all time and his remarkable longevity will never cease to amaze us. We still think he’s got plenty in tank yet.