The Real Madrid boss addressed the rumors linking his star midfielder Luka Modric to Inter Milan as his side emerged victorious against Juventus in the preseason game held in the US. Also reveals a position which he dislikes as a tactician.
Published By: Dalipinder Singh Sandhu (Bliss)
Real Madrid won 3-1 against Juventus in their second preseason game of the US tour. Julen Lopetegui rules out any possible celebration due in the preparatory stage and claims that these results do not carry much of significance.
“We are content. The result is irrelevant in the preseason, but we want to win not lose. Today there were some very positive things, but there are always things to improve. The team has taken steps forward against a top team.”
The crowds in Washington witnessed fair few goals coming from Carvajal (O.G.), Bale, and Asensio. The Spanish team was comfortable with and without the ball while causing all kinds of trouble in the final third. Julen Lopetegui has been content with the performance and looks on to improvise even further before they get back into the competitive season by the mid of this month.
“We conceded a goal and it was bad luck, but then we played with character and tranquillity to keep believing in what we do. They had nine starting players out there, with more pace, they had played more games, and we have played the game well. We played a great game and we won it.”
The ex Spanish NT coach also showered praise on the reserve players who feature for the second division team of Real Madrid called Castilla.
“I would also like to highlight Lucas Vázquez’s game, Javi Sánchez, Reguilón, Nacho, Llorente, Valverde … I would not point out a specific player. The whole group has worked well together. We are happy with the match that all the players have made.”
Luka Modric, the Croatian midfielder has been linked to a shock move to Inter Milan which was answered by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez that the Italian side would have to pay his buyout clause i.e. 750 million euros to avail the services of the WC 2018 runner-up. Julen Lopetegui also gave his opinion on the rumors and is confident about retaining his decorated playmaker.
Luka Modric is currently enjoying his extended holidays in Italy which has triggered the rumors. As the 32-year-old had a long season and played extra time in last 3 out of 4 knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup 2018, Modric is expected to join his club later next week just in time for the UEFA Super Cup match against Atletico Madrid. Though he will be a doubt for the Madrid derby.
“The President answered clearly and I have nothing more to add to the situation. Modric is a decent footballer who we are waiting for with open arms. I talked to him after he lost the World Cup final. We are awaiting his return and he will start working from the 8th, aiming to be back for the game on the 15th.”
Julen Lopetegui believes that Luka Modric would love to play under him, the tactics of moving without the ball and the style of distributing the ball are kind of play which would suit well for a player like him. The Real Madrid coach has no doubts that Modric will stay.
“Luka is a player that I am passionate about and I love. I think he’ll be pleased with what he’s going to get from me. He will be happy playing football at Real Madrid. Luka is a Real Madrid player and I have no doubt that he will stay here. We have enjoyed it and we will continue enjoying it without any doubt.”
Marco Asensio registered a brace in his name after coming on as a substitute at halftime. The Spanish player was introduced to a new position as Lopetegui experimented with his tactics which seemed to have worked well. Julen also reveals that as a tactician he is not very fond of the false nine position which was famously adapted by the likes of Lionel Messi and Francisco Totti in the past.
“Marco (Asensio) played well, he played in a different position than usual, but he did well. We are happy with the performance of all the players. I hate false nines. This is an alternative. The preseason serves for these things. it’s not the first time he has played there for me. We have to test the resources within the squad. Today was spellbinding.”
One of the players who did impress was Reguilón, whose future is yet undecided but is anticipated to continue with the Castilla side for the upcoming season and may get to feature in some of the games for Real Madrid in Copa Del Rey. Julen Lopetegui has yet to decide what will be the future of the youngster.
“Reguilón? Decisions will be made when the preseason is done. He is taking advantage of the chance he has been given. He is a youth team player. He is working with a good heart and we hope he keeps it that way.”
Real Madrid faced Manchester United and Juventus in the preseason with AS Roma and AC Milan left to face before they wrap up their USA tour and prepare to battle it out with their arch-rivals Atletico Madrid, in the UEFA Super Cup which will be held on 15th of August 2018.