REAL MADRID

Kovacic: "I can stand in for Modric"

Real Madrid's Croatian midfielder: "I visited Modric after his injury and he told me I was ready to take on that responsibility".
Real Madrid-Deportivo: LaLiga matchday 20

Kovacic: "I can stand in for Modric"
JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA DIARIO AS

Kovacic happy to stand in for Modric

Matteo Kovacic spoke to the press at the Croatian national team camp and discussed how he was happy to take on more responsibility with Real Madrid and Croatia team-mate Luka Modric out injured. 

The injury to Modric has seen Croatian coach Cacic look to Kovacic as the natural replacement for the games against Kosovo (Thursday) and Finland (9 October), and Kovacic is happy to stand in for Modric, both for his country and for his club. 

Kovacic holds the ball against Eibar

"I visited Modric after his injury and he told me I was ready to take on the responsibility. The hardest part is replacing Modric, because he does things that are extremely hard to do in football". 

Kovacic's first year at Real Madrid

Kovacic also spoke about his first year at Real Madrid (he was brought in by Rafa Benítez in the summer of 2015). "I'm really happy with this second season at Real Madrid, I'm playing more and things are going as they should be".

The Croatian midfielder finished last season looking like he would be leaving the club, but his commitment to the side (including cutting his holidays short) convinced Zidane to keep him. He's played 48% of the available minutes this season, some 453 minutes.