It has been a long, hard, yet rewarding last few years for Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.
Since the 2015/16 season, the Croatia Captain has had a very important influence in the successes of both his club and his national team.
After winning his third consecutive UEFA Champions League title with Real Madrid and helping Croatia reach the 2018 World Cup Final, the work that Modric has done on the pitch within the last year has undoubtedly been his best.
However, after his remarkable last season, surely the midfield magician’s form would slow down, no? Certainly not.
Using a tactical analysis and overviewing statistics, it is easy to see how Modric’s continues to successfully maintain his exquisite form for both club and country.
Recent form with Real Madrid
Throughout the 2017/18 season, Modric made regular appearances for Real Madrid and dominated the midfield boasting an average pass accuracy of 90 per cent or higher across all competitions.
While playing alongside teammate Toni Kroos, the pair was able to make big contributions to Real Madrid’s attack when needed.
The Croatian himself had 34 shots, eight of which were on target, and created 38 chances towards goal with five following through as assists.
Since the departure of Zinedine Zidane, and most recently Julen Lopetegui, Modric has been working towards maintaining his highly rated performance levels for the 2018/19 season under new head coach, Santiago Solari.
So far in this season, Modric has started 10 games for Los Blancos and his stats hover around the same numbers as they did last season.
The starting midfield for Real Madrid has been very fluid this season with Modric, Kroos, Casemiro, Dani Ceballos and Isco all moving in and out of positions.
However, when comparing the players throughout their time in LaLiga so far, the Croatian still demonstrates to be a dominating player for the team.
The No. 10 has so far has completed 534 passes, had a 44 per cent shot accuracy with 14 chances created with two following through as assists.
Recent form with Croatian National Team
Modric’s ability to maintain his midfield dominance has also been evident while playing for the Croatian National team.
After the team’s remarkable run in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, they have also been participating in the inaugural UEFA Nations League competition.
Playing matches against Nigeria, Argentina, Iceland, Denmark, Russia, France, England and Spain has aided Croatia in proving themselves as tough opponents despite sometimes being ‘underdogs.’
While captaining the side, Modric averaged a pass accuracy of 87 per cent across both the competition in the summer as well as the current tournament and bagged two goals and two assists in the process.
The influence from Modric also carried over into the UEFA Nations League.
While the first two games did not go the way of the Croats, the national team was victorious on November 15, 2018, as they pulled off a 3-2 victory against Spain.
With the seats overflowing at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, Modric and team once again demonstrated their footballing abilities.
In this game alone, the captain was able to maintain a passing average of 83 per cent, provide three key passes and assisted Tin Jedvaj’s goal in the 69th minute.
Despite the team’s upset, Croatia has since been relegated to Group B after closing out their Nations League Group A campaign losing 2-1 to England.
Can he continue?
Under Lopetegui, many of the midfielders were struggling to fit into the starting lineup and thus, were not playing to their full ability.
At the start of the season, the ex-manager opted to have the Croatian as a substitute and have the German in place of the Brazilian who himself was out of his usual position on the pitch.
Now with the first team operating more comfortably under the management of Solari, Real Madrid has been working towards winning more games.
As expressed through the statistics and analysis, Modric continues to be a midfield magician as he maintains his high-performance levels.
How long this could go on for, nobody knows.
But despite a mentally hectic and physically gruelling schedule, Luka Modric is a player whose abilities are continuing to be influential for both club and country.