One day after Real Madrid won the UEFA Super Cup with a 2-1 victory over Manchester United, it was reported that the reigning La Liga champions will be without a key midfielder for the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.
Luka Modrić, who along with fellow midfielders Isco and Casemiro performed quite well in Tuesday’s victory in Macedonia, has been issued a one-match ban which will rule him out for Sunday’s match with reigning Copa de Rey champions Barcelona. The reason for Modrić’s ban: he was sent off in the 89th minute of the second leg of the 2014 Spanish Super Cup against Atletico Madrid.
Real Madrid, which in addition to winning La Liga won its second consecutive UEFA Champions League title last season, has not appeared in the Spanish Super Cup since. Hence, Modrić not serving the suspension until now.
Losing Modrić does hurt, but Real Madrid doesn’t lack for option in midfield either. The quartet of Modrić, Isco, Casemiro and Toni Kroos acquitted itself quite well against Manchester United, and options such as Marco Asensio and Mateo Kovacić are available to manager Zinedine Zidane as well. It’s also worth noting that Real Madrid did not call upon forward Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday, going with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale as its main attacking options.
Both teams competing for the Spanish Super Cup will have personnel issues to address as a result of Modrić’s suspension, with Barcelona beginning life without Neymar Jr. Neymar Jr. became the most expensive transfer in the history of the sport last week, as his move to Paris-Saint Germain was completed. As a result Barcelona has 222 million Euros available to spend on the transfer market if it chooses to do so, with the window not closing until September 1.