Superstar Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has declared it’s “the greatest nonsense in history” that he tried to force a summer move to Internazionale.
Modric, 32, was chased throughout the summer by the Champions League returnees. This pursuit was even encouraged by the World Cup 2018 Golden Ball winner’s agent, with Marko Naletilic stating his client was “thrilled” by the idea of heading to Serie A.
But when quizzed about these reports on Instagram, the Croatia international responded: “It’s the greatest nonsense in history!!”
Modric has won 14 major trophies since he arrived at Santiago Bernabeu from Tottenham Hotspur in August 2012.
2.45pm – Lopetegui heaps praise on Bale
Bale’s cross was headed in by Dani Carvajal for Real’s opening goal in their first match of the new campaign in La Liga, and he later scored his side’s second at the Bernabeu.
“I was pleased with the team in general and Gareth put in a great performance,” said Lopetegui.
“Bale offers us solutions. He played well, like many of his teammates.”
11:00am – Asensio impressed with Real Madrid display
The hosts bounced back from their UEFA Super Cup defeat to Atletico Madrid thanks to goals in either half from Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale.
Speaking after the game, Asensio said: “It was very important to do well. We played a complete game and this was the way to start in the league.”
8.40am: Nacho says Bale has nothing to prove
The Wales international was on the scoresheet in Real’s 2-0 victory over Getafe in new coach Julen Lopetegui’s first La Liga game at the helm on Sunday evening.
Speaking afterwards, Nacho told the club’s official website, www.realmadrid.com: “As for Bale, he does not have to follow Ronaldo’s path. He [Ronaldo] marked a time here.
“Bale is a very important player for us and has won many things here and does not have to prove anything to anyone. He has the confidence of all and surely he will do it very well.
Carvajal opened the scoring with a looping header, catching the keeper off his line in the 20th minute before Bale secured the points when he steered in Asensio’s pass six minutes into the second half.
The victory gets Los Blancos’ La Liga season off to a winning start.
Here’s how the Madrid players performed.
Keylor Navas – With Thibaut Courtois approaching his first start, the Costa Rican would’ve wanted to impress but wasn’t given a chance with just one routine save to make. 6
Dani Carvajal – Solid in defence and supported the attack. Scored with a cleverly executed looping header for the opener. 8
Nacho – Read the game well and was always a step ahead of Jorge Molina and Gaku Shibasaki, making several interceptions. 7
Sergio Ramos – Excellent on the ball and effective with his distribution. Had a couple of moments in the opposition’s box. 6
Marcelo – Wasn’t at his marauding best but produced real quality when he crossed for Bale in the first half. Grew into the game after half-time. 6
Dani Ceballos – Supported Toni Kroos well and was tidy with his passing but was caught in possession a few times. 5
Toni Kroos – Puts Julen Lopetegui’s ideas into motion on the pitch. Dictated play brilliantly with near-perfect passing, completing 119 at a 98 per cent success rate, including 16 out of 16 long balls. 7
Isco – Far from his best as he failed to create any openings while his touch was off as well. Subbed off before the hour mark. 5
Gareth Bale – Interchanged with Isco and Asensio well. Always a threat, heading onto the bar in the first half and scoring with a fine finish in the second. 7
Karim Benzema – No real chances to speak of for the Frenchman who had a subdued outing. 5
Asensio – Blended his supreme technique with work ethic. Forced Djene Dakonam off the ball and set up Bale before striking the upright with a stinging right-footed shot from range. 7
Casemiro – Anchored the midfield when he came on for Isco, allowing Asensio more freedom to attack. 5
Luka Modric – Tried to force a third goal and misplaced a couple of passes. 5
Lucas Vazquez – Created a half chance after replacing Bale. N/A