The football universe will come to a standstill when Real Madrid and Manchester City clash in their Champions League semi-final. The victor will face either AC Milan or Inter in the final in Istanbul.
The high stakes mean neither coach will want to be without their star players, but news from Spain suggests Los Blancos could find themselves in that unenviable position.
Here’s the latest on Luka Modric’s fitness as the La Liga champions gear up for their toughest test this season.
Modric suffered a leg injury during Tuesday’s shock 4-2 defeat to tenth-placed Girona in La Liga. While Real described it as a ‘left leg injury,’ suggesting it’s not a severe strain, Carlo Ancelotti admitted he’s unsure if the Croatian maestro will recover for the Copa del Rey final on May 6.
“The truth is Modric picked up a minor injury in Girona. We’re awaiting his progress, and I don’t know if he’ll make the cup final,” Ancelotti said. “Obviously, we’re hurting, but that’s football.”
Modric has played 44 times for Real this season, dictating the tempo and unlocking defences with piercing passes to Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.
Ancelotti must now find a replacement, with Dani Ceballos and Eduardo Camavinga the leading candidates.
“In terms of characteristics, it’s Ceballos. But we have other options – Camavinga, Tchouameni, Valverde…I have top-level midfielders,” Ancelotti added.
Luka Modric Sidelined Before Champions League Blockbuster
Modric will certainly miss Saturday’s La Liga clash against Almeria and the Copa del Rey final. All eyes are on the Champions League semi-final first leg against City.
While Real haven’t ruled Modric out, it will be tough. Losing his experience and UCL know-how would dent Real, who lack a like-for-like replacement.
Ceballos is capable but pales next to the Ballon d’Or winner. It’s a bigger blow as Real have home advantage in the first leg, hoping to win and take a lead to England.
The football world awaits with bated breath. Will the magician that is Luka Modric recover to weave his sorcery against City?