The streak is still alive!
Luka Modrić has made it back to the promised land for his fifth Champions League Final in 10 years with Real Madrid. It means there has been a Croatian who has taken part in the Champions League Final for 11 straight seasons (Lovren remained on the bench for Liverpool in the 2019 Final versus Tottenham). If Modrić and Real Madrid win in Paris against Liverpool on May 28th, it would make it an astounding 10 straight years that a Croatian international has lifted the Champions League trophy. That is absolutely insane to think about!
This Real Madrid team have played absolutely out of their minds with their backs to the wall in all three knockout round 2nd legs this season. And this is against arguabley three of the top five club teams on planet Earth: PSG, Chelsea, Manchester City.
Real Madrid were down 2-0 (agg.) to PSG in the Round of 16 before Benzema scored a hat trick with 29 minutes remaining to put Los Blancos through to the quarters and crush Parisian dreams. That’s the game where Modrić megged the defender in the box to play Benzema for the equalizing goal.
In the 2nd leg quarterfinals, Chelsea came back with three unanswered goals to go up 4-3 (on aggregate) with only 10 minutes in the match. That’s when Modrić laid out a “Assist of the Season” candidate with the outside of his foot, playing Rodrygo in front of goal for the volley to force extra time. Benzema would seal it to book a date with Man City.
Wednesday night at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid did it once again. Down 5-3 on aggregate in the 90th minute, Rodrygo would score twice within 90 seconds of each other to force extra time. Benzema would convert a penalty kick. And Real Madrid are once again in the Champions League Final. Modrić was subbed out for Camavinga in the 75′ and missed the scoring spree on the field.
Although Modrić didn’t make the scoresheet this game, he (alongside the other Madrid players) came out hot and ready to battle. He received a 7.5 grade from TheRealChamps.com as “It was a surprise to see Luka Modrić taken out early, along with the rest of KCM, but he was also fantastic. Just like in the first leg, Modrić was unplayable at times, blowing by defenders and pulling the strings in midfield for Los Blancos. Modrić is still one of the absolute best midfielders in the world, and this performance was another example of that. In the first half, he was a big reason why Real were outplaying City and creating more chances.”