Luka Modric has described Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo as "a phenomenon" after being amazed at the Portuguese's work ethic in training.
28-year-old has scored a remarkable 212 goals in 208 games in his
four-year stint at the Santiago Bernabeu, and Modric - who joined the
club from Tottenham in the summer of 2012 - believes the former
Manchester United man possesses an incredible work ethic.
he was a beast as a player, but I soon realised he is the number one to
watch in training, or to apply himself. He's a phenomenon," he told Sportske Novosti.
endured a trophyless campaign in his first season in the Spanish
capital and the Croatia international is determined to avoid the same
scenario in 2013-14.
"The crowd always expect a lot from us, as
it should be at Real Madrid. I couldn't say what the most important
title is, but what I can't think about is another blank year," the
"We need to be more compact, to defend well
and attack in harmony between the lines. We know the expectations are
always growing and one cannot relax for a moment."
Modric also had high praise for new boss Carlo Ancelotti, claiming the Italian brings an air of calm to the dressing room.
transmits an atmosphere of peace over the team. I heard he was very
temperamental as a player, but he's a great guy," he said.
has enjoyed some of his finest form to date in a Madrid shirt in the
absence of the injured Xabi Alonso but, while the former Dinamo Zagreb
man admits he is relishing the creative freedom afforded him so far this
season, he insists the team will benefit from the return of the Spain
"I like playing in central midfield as a creator,
but my preference is not important. We're waiting for Xabi, we will
improve with him," the Croatian continued.
"I want to have more
responsibility, to step forward and lead the game. I won't hide, I'm
fully matured. I grew a lot last year."