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Modrić: “The Bernabéu will play a really important role”

NEWS STORY. 08/03/2022. Alberto Navarro

"We'll have to go out and show character, energy and aggression", added the Croat.

Luka Modrić spoke to the media in an online press conference from Real Madrid City on the eve of the Champions League round of 16 return-leg meeting with PSG (9pm CET) and had the following to say about the encounter: “I'm sure that the Bernabéu will have a really important role to play for us because playing here at home means a great deal. It’ll be a great game. We've played many of these games and the fans’ support will be really important because we're going to need all of their help, just as we did against Real Sociedad and they will spur us on to give even more when it gets tough out there, just as they always have done in these big games”.

“Every game is different. The important thing is that we go out and try and do what the coach asks of us. The most important thing is that we go out there and show the character, good energy and aggression that we produced against Real Sociedad. If we manage to do that, we’ll be in with a very good chance of getting through the tie. We’ll have to give our all”.

Team’s set-up
“That's a question you’d have to put to the coach. We have to go out there and show energy, aggression and character. The way we set up is something that the coach decides and I'm sure he knows what he's going to do, who's going to play and how we will set up. Those of us who are out there on the pitch need to give our all to put in a good performance to try and get us through to the next round”.

Pressure to progress
“There is big pressure on both teams. Both of us want to get through. They’re keen to win the Champions League and are yet to have done so, which speaks volumes of just how tough it is. We won it four times in five years and made it look easy and as if it was normal, but that's far from being the case. There's a lot at stake for both teams. We're both great sides. We’re the best club in the history of the game and are always under pressure, no matter what the competition, because we always want to win”.

Replacing Casemiro
Casemiro’s absence is a shame because we all know exactly what he brings to our system, but we’ve got other players who are capable of performing well, such as Valverde and Camavinga. I hope that Kroos is involved and I’ll have to do just what I always do and give that little bit extra to cover the job that Casemiro does as he won’t be involved. We're all going to have to give a bit more, particularly on the defensive side of the game. I'm certain that whoever plays tomorrow will go out and perform well”.

“We all want to be involved in these kinds of games and you've got to be at 100% in them. If Kroos plays tomorrow it means that he’s 100% fit. You've got to be at 100% if you're going to be out there because there are no excuses. You have to give your all”.

“He put in a great performance the other day. He’s still young and has to keep progressing as he is. We have to be patient with him, but I like the fact that he has a strong character, is strong-minded and is afraid of nothing. Us more veteran players are here to help him by giving him advice, but he needs to just keep performing as he has been of late. He’s getting better every day and has a bright future ahead of him and I'm sure he's going to play a big role in the future”.

Contract extension
“It's not something I want to discuss now because there are more important things ahead of us, like tomorrow's game, which is a very important one and is all that I'm focused on”. 

Ramos’s return
“I speak to Sergio almost every day and it'll be nice to see him again. I think that the Bernabéu should give him a warm reception because he’s a club legend and one of the best defenders in the history of the game. In my opinion, and nobody should be offended by this and I'm not just saying this because I'm his friend, but he’s the best defender to have ever played for Real Madrid. When you consider everything he has given and all that he has represented, the Bernabéu should give him a really warm reception and I'm sure that will be the case. He deserves it and it's the only reception that he should receive, given what he has represented”.

Mbappé injury
“We haven't even mentioned it. We're just focusing on ourselves. We hope that he isn't injured because we don't want anybody to get injured. If he plays tomorrow, he'll be at 100%. If you're not at 100%, it's no good playing in these types of games I don't know what sort of reception he'll get from the Bernabéu. Our fans will back us to the hilt, regardless of who we're up against”.

“We all want to play with great players and he's one of them. I'd like to have him  on my team, but he’s a PSG player and we'll have to see what the future holds. It's very difficult for us to talk about players who aren’t at the club because other clubs could end up getting annoyed or interpret things in the wrong way. Any player wouldn't want to have him in their team”. 

“He's a great player and one I have a lot of time for. I really like players like him and he’s a big threat for us, as are two other players who will be involved. He's returning from a long time out, but is capable of doing a lot of damage in a single move because he’s a world-class player. We've got to be wary of him, but we must just focus on ourselves and what we're going to do out there. I'm certain that we'll put in a good performance”.

“It's a very tricky topic for everyone. I hope that it all ends as soon as possible because it's doing nobody any good and I hope that the countries reach an agreement because war is pointless. I've experienced a war myself and don't like to see the images. It's very sad for everyone that it’s happening here so close by. It's horrific and I hope that the politicians manage to reach an agreement because it's doing nobody any good. Innocent people are losing their lives and that is really, really bad”.