Luka Modric says Real Madrid are missing Cristiano Ronaldo, as any team would, and admits some of his team-mates have not stepped up as hoped since the Portuguese left last summer. Ronaldo scored 450 goals in nine seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu as Los Blancos claimed four Champions League crowns and a number of other trophies, but the 34-year-old is now a Juventus player and in his absence, Real have struggled for goals at times.
That was especially noticeable over the last week as Madrid lost twice at home to fierce rivals Barcelona, with a 3-0 defeat in the teams’ Copa del Rey semi-final second leg on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu and then a 1-0 loss in La Liga on Saturday.
Modric was asked if Ronaldo was missed and he said: “Of course. “Any team would miss Cristiano and finding a replacement for him is almost impossible.
“When he left, the club intended for other players to cover his function. For the load to be spread among the other players in attack and that’s not easy. Cristiano scored 50 goals (per season) and you can’t find a player out there who scores that many.
“Perhaps some of the other players had to take a step forward and not score 50, but 20… I’m not going to name names, but two or three players to score 20, 15 or 10 goals. We don’t have that and that’s our biggest problem this year.”
Modric added that the two recent Barca games highlighted that issue. “We had a lot chances,” he said. “But when you don’t take them, the rival punishes you.
“Cristiano is not here, but we can’t be complaining about that for 10 years. The club has put its faith in other players like Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Mariano, Vinicius [Junior] who is doing really well…
“Sometimes things don’t work out as you want, but the way to solve that is by working. Madrid will always be at the top. Sometimes things don’t go well, but the team will be back.”