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Chelsea loanee: Former Spurs’ star is now a ‘leading role’ at Real Madrid

Thibaut Courtois has acknowledged Luka Modric’s impact ahead of the crucial Madrid derby clash this weekend.

Luka Modric has been a revelation for Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti this season, one year on from being spoken of as one of the worst Real Madrid signings in recent years.

The Croatian international initially struggled in the Spanish capital. Current Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho signed the diminutive midfielder in the summer of 2012, and despite arriving with an impressive CV, Modric was doubted as a true Galactico.

The whole team struggled during the 2012-13 season, as they found themselves more than 10 points behind Barcelona in La Liga, they were thrashed by Dortmund in the Champions League semi-final and a Copa Del Rey final defeat to Atletico Madrid topped a miserable campaign for Los Blancos.

This season however has been a stark contrast, with the team fighting for a historic treble and Luka Modric in particular shining in midfield. In 19 La Liga starts, Modric has five assists, but more impressively, he is Madrid’s most accurate midfield passer – with a success rate of 90%.

Ahead of Real Madrid’s top of the table derby clash with Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon stadium, Spanish paper AS interviewed Chelsea loanee Thibaut Courtois.

The Belgian international – who has also been phenomenal this season - covered key topics such as Chelsea linked Diego Costa, the recent Copa Del Rey Semi-Final clash between the sides and former Tottenham Hotspur’s midfielder Luka Modric’s new leading role in Madrid.

He said of the Croatian: "Modric has found his rhythm at Madrid and has started to play a leading role.”

“Now it’s not just Xabi Alonso looking for him, Pepe and Ramos also look for him constantly to play out of defence and so that he can distribute the ball.”

“Our job is to not give him any space. With space they’re deadly and they showed it in Gelsenkirchen. We need to close them down."

images: © apasciuto, © Ronnie Macdonald

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