Hitting out against Real Madrid’s extensive pre-season tour under Rafael Benitez, Croatian midfielder Luka Modric believes that the squad spent ‘more time in the air’ than on the training pitch.
Laying the blame on the squad’s poor physical condition, Modric claimed that Real Madrid’s 4-0 defeat against Barcelona left him humiliated and embarrassed.
Real Madrid traveled to China and Australia as a part of their pre-season tour as Rafael Benitez took command of the first team. His first game in charge saw the club play out a goalless draw as fans and players eventually expressed their disappointment with the Spaniard as the season progressed.
I feel that physically we weren’t in good shape
As reported by AS, Luka Modric refused to lay the blame entirely on Rafael Benitez, as he held the pre-season tour responsible for the squad being in a poor shape at the start of the season.
“Each person will have their own particular viewpoint on the results but I feel that physically we weren’t in good shape. Our pre-season tour of China and Australia was too quick. We spent more time in the air than we did training. This is a problem as it later impacts when the season starts.”
Zidane has echoed Modric’s fitness concerns with reports suggesting that the Frenchman is keen on improving the physical condition of the squad. The Real Madrid manager also claimed that he wants his players to be in a good condition during the closing stages of the season ‘when everything is decided’.
Modric’s latest comments make him the third player after Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos to publicly comment against Florentino Perez’s policies at the helm of the club. While Ronaldo criticised the president for the frequent changes in the personnel, Ramos seemed miffed with Perez as he claimed that the players were just the ‘pawns’ at Real Madrid.