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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez predicted that Luka Modric could win the Ballon d’Or for the second time after his masterclass in the Supercopa de Espana final.
Croatian playmaker Modric won France Football’s prestigious award for World Player of the Year after his dazzling performances at the 2018 World Cup.
He turns 37 before the Qatar World Cup in November, but Modric’s goal and overall display in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao showed he remains a force to be reckoned with.
Thibaut Courtois saved a late penalty from Raul Garcia as Madrid secured a first trophy since Carlo Ancelotti returned to the club for a second term as coach.
Asked about Courtois and Modric, Perez said after the match: “Without wanting to brag, they are the two best in their position. The best goalkeeper and Modric in enviable form, worthy of winning the Ballon d’Or again.”
Modric’s passing accuracy this season is unparalleled 90.41 percent, and even in the opposition half it is 89.03 percent, which is impressive numbers as he plays many balls at high rate.
He has already created eight great chances for others this season and has five assists, while the shot he sent past Unai Simon in the 38th minute at King Fahd Stadium gave Modric the first goal of the season. He took the most valuable player award from Sunday’s match.
Perez will probably still be thrilled too soon as the Ballon d’Or is an end-of-year award, but Modric was excellent and midfielder Toni Kroos had an accuracy rate of 95 per cent from his game-high 100 passes, which helped ensure Madrid had played a draw before facing a late flurry of attacks from Athletic.
Former Barcelona captain Lionel Messi took the Ballon d’Or for a record seventh time last year, when even Robert Lewandowski’s Bayern Munich goal scorer was not enough to knock the Argentine major player away from his accused top spot in the poll.
Madrid should win more silverware this season. They lead LaLiga, have a Copa del Rey round of 16 with Elche on Thursday, and remain in the Champions League, albeit with a tough match against Paris Saint-Germain, which comes next in that competition.
Enthusiastic about the prospects for this Ancelotti effort, Perez said of Madrid’s early success: “It means a lot.”
Quoted in Marca, Perez said: “We always want to win everything, they have taught us that since we were little. This year it was 60 years since I became a member and that is how we were educated. I work according to the lines that Santiago The Bernabeu set for us and I’m happy because we won the first title. “
Courtois did not particularly guess correctly for Garcia’s penalty kick, as much as guessing late, meaning his outstretched legs could reach the ball down the middle while the rest of his body swayed to the right.
“I hesitated between going right or staying in the middle,” the Belgian goalkeeper told #Vamos, “and that’s why I kept my foot there and I was able to stop it. If not, we would have had a cardiac arrest in the last minutes. ”