Carlo Ancelotti’s vision for the coming weeks is dantesque: he currently has nine injured players in a squad with 23 names. Others, such as Bellingham, Ceballos and Kepa, have a scheduled return date soon and it is normal for them to empty the infirmary and relieve the Italian coach, but this break has been devastating for Madrid in two lines: the middle and the front. Camavinga fell, with a tear of the external lateral ligament of the knee that will keep him out for between eight and ten weeks, that is, in the best cases he will return at the end of February; and Vinicius, who has a muscle problem that does not have a clear diagnosis at the moment, but will certainly mean that he will be out for more than one game. Brazil’s loss will be covered by Joselu and Brahim, as was the case when he went down at the beginning of the season. And for Camavinga, Ancelotti had to look at some old acquaintances whose fame fell during this season, but now become important: Modric and Kroos.
They are not both in the same bag, of course: they both started as substitutes on the first day of the league match, in San Mamés, but Kroos soon took a place in the permanent eleven, he has already accumulated 889 minutes this season and became a starter in tronio matches (Real Sociedad, Atlético, Girona, Naples, Seville, Barcelona…); Modric’s case is particularly important, because he played only 647 minutes and was a substitute for Diego Armando Maradona, in Clásico, in Pizjuán…
A strange situation for someone from Zadar, as he himself explained in an interview with a media outlet in his country during one of the breaks at the start of the campaign: “No one who are happy when they don’t play. After my whole career, that feeling is very strange for me. But the coach decided for his own reasons. Madrid wants me to stay and I have the same desire. The My only condition to stay was that they treated me as a competitive player, and that they wouldn’t keep me in the squad based on past merits. They told me that nothing would change in my status, and that’s why I signed. Know- I know that we have a lot of competition in the midfield, that these young people are top-level players. I will work to be one of the protagonists of this season. We will see how things develop, if in the future it turns out that I am not important anymore, then I will think about what to do. I have other interests, but my goal is Real Madrid.
Some conclusions based on the facts: the era of Modric and Kroos seems to have passed, at least as a pair in the midfield. Their combined involvement this season has been limited so far: they’ve only played ten games on the field, and in total they’ve played just 227 minutes together. This adds to the role that Ancelotti gave to the duo, more focused on controlling the matches in the second half than in the beginning: they only started together once, in the Metropolitano derby, and the result at half time ( 2-1 for Atleti; the white goal from Kroos) led Carletto to withdraw Modric and put Joselu in his place. The rest of their joint appearance was faced at the end of the duels, with the team more focused on organizing and not conceding than on damaging the opponent: in 227 minutes, Madrid scored six goal and won four, with an almost neutral balance. (+2).
The new wave will have to wait
Years and ages are unforgiving, even for legends. In this it is unfair, once again, to put the two on the same level, because Kroos is almost 34 years old (he turned 34 in January) and Modric has been 38 since September. In general, both of them arrived last summer with the end of their contracts and decided to renew for another season to increase the experience of the White House, knowing that the future is here and there are name and surname: Federico Valverde, Aurélien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Jude Bellingham…
And Ancelotti acted in this sense in full compliance with the policy of the club, which caused an inevitable cost to participate in the two fundamental pillars of the last four Champions Leagues (Modric is also in the Décima ; Kroos suffered this as a Bayern player). But the circumstances now give more life to the veteran couple: Camavinga will not be ready until the end of January, Tchouameni is not expected to start until 2024 and Ceballos, even if he will make it to the next game in Cádiz, will do so lacking rhythm afterwards. chain injuries. The Nuevo Mirandilla eleven includes Kroos as a midfielder, with Valverde and Modric as interior players and Bellingham in the midfield. The saying goes: with honest gray hair, there are no closed doors. And Madrid’s eleven is now open for Modric and Kroos.