Luka Modric stressed that the Los Blancos did not lose their sleep when Cristiano Ronaldo decided to depart from Real Madrid in 2018. The Croatian star said that keeping the winning tradition at the Santiago Bernabéu is a no-brainer for his club as he insisted that the Spanish giants have kept themselves in high spirits after the Portuguese icon’s exit.
“It’s pointless discussing how important Ronaldo was for Real, but I must say we were not burdened by the fact he was no longer there in the sense that we weren’t able to generate the same ambition,” Modric told Sportske Novosti, via Yahoo Sports.
“We were convinced we’d continue to win trophies even without him because, regardless of the strength of the individual, the team is always above everything.”
On the heels of winning his fourth Champions League title with the Merengues, Ronaldo left Madrid for Turin after agreeing on a deal worth about $130 million to play for Juventus.
The Los Blancos had a shaky stretch post-Ronaldo as they had to weather the adjustment phase of playing sans the soccer legend.
The process took a sudden turn with the appointment of Zinedine Zidane as the club’s manager once again. Fast forward to 2020, with the sport forced to continue under unprecedented conditions, Real Madrid is raising the La Liga trophy once again, and Modric could not be more ecstatic.
“I’m full of happiness and satisfaction for my second league title,” said Modric, who assisted Karim Benzema’s opening goal in a 2–1 victory over Villarreal to clinch the title. “I have won 16 trophies at Madrid, including four Champions Leagues, but this title has made me especially happy.”
At 34 years old with a well-decorated career to boast of, Modric is just hoping to spend his last playing years at Real Madrid.
“Who wouldn’t (want to retire at Real)?” he said. “But we will have to see what the club wants. Madrid is my home, but it’s Madrid who decides what is best for the club.
“I know that midfielders rarely stay here until the age of 35. If Madrid considers I’m not suitable (anymore), I’m prepared for that option. Nothing would change my emotion towards the club. However, I hope to break the norm.”
Modric joined the Los Blancos in 2012 via a protracted transfer from Tottenham Hotspur. His current deal is set to expire on June 2021 but he is hoping that a new proposal will be offered on his table in order to fulfill his swansong at the Spanish capital.