Luka Modric has downplayed the significance of winning individual awards despite being the favourite to collect FIFA’s Best Men’s Player gong.
The Real Madrid midfielder is one of three finalists, alongside former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah. Modric has already won two major awards this year, the World Cup‘s Golden Ball accolade and UEFA’s Best Men’s Player.
Speaking after Croatia’s stunning 6-0 loss to Spain on Tuesday, however, the 33-year-old said he’s far from obsessed by the possibility of a clean sweep, with the Ballon d’Or also a possibility later this year.
“For me, the important thing is the collective, winning the prize is not what obsesses me the most,” Modric said.
“If I do not win it, nothing happens.”
Meanwhile, Modric was left ruing what could have been after his side were picked apart by Spain despite a bright start.
“A very tough game,” he added. “We started the game in the first 20 minutes very well, we had two or three, let’s say, clear chances. We didn’t score, and when we conceded the first goal, and especially the second, we fell apart.”
Hola Madridistas. Welcome to Wednesday’s Real Madrid blog.
Niall and the rest of the Sport360 team will be here throughout the day, bringing you the latest Los Blancos news, views and gossip.
14:00 – Modric wants to leave the club in January
Inter look set to resume their pursuit of Real Madrid star Luka Modric in January, according to Sport Mediaset.
The Croatian star is interested in re-opening discussions after Los Blancos president Fiorentino Perez refused the sale over the summer.
The 33-year-old, who has two years remaining on his contract at the Bernabeu, has a desire to join compatriots Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic and Sime Vrsaljko in the Italian capital.
11:00 – Asensio never considered leaving Madrid
Asensio insists he is happy at Real Madrid following his man-of-the-match display against Croatia.
The 22-year-old was linked with a move away from Los Blancos this summer amid reports of a potential switch to Liverpool, PSG or Chelsea.
But the Palma de Mallorca native, who has scored 21 goals in 95 appearances for the Bernabeu side, told reporters: “I’ve never had the intention to go anywhere.”
9:00 – Asensio shines in Spain’s win over Croatia
Marco Asensio was the star of the show as Luis Enrique’s Spain thrashed Croatia 6-0 in the UEFA Nations League on Tuesday.
The Real Madrid man scored one, saw another strike rebound off the crossbar and go in off the goalkeeper and set up three second-half goals to complete a statement victory in Elche.
It would be the second straight club start for the summer signing, who also got the nod over Keylor Navas in Madrid’s previous fixture against Leganes.
Navas had started in the UEFA Super Cup clash against Atletico Madrid, as well as Madrid’s first two La Liga fixtures, before manager Julen Lopetegui turned to Courtois, who arrived from Chelsea on a €35million .
Both players have looked sharp in goal, and there could be a lengthy battle as both look to establish themselves as the first-choice man between the goalposts.
After the game against Bilbao, Madrid will face Roma in the Champions League in midweek, a fixture that could be a greater indicator of which goalkeeper is the preferred option for Lopetegui.