Casemiro, Kroos and Modric celebrate with Lucas Vázquez and Vinicius a goal for Madrid against Valencia.Soccrates Images / Getty Images
In his last years as a footballer, Zinedine Zidan suffered the galactic crisis like few others, a word that he rejected so much, triggered in good measured with the departure of his compatriot Makelele, whom the club considered expendable against the opinion, as expressed at the time by Zizou, from the dressing room. That exit cracked the middle of the field and punished ZZ to extra defensive work for which he was not gifted, let alone over thirty. The paradox is that this experience, which aggravated a career end that was already exhausting for him, did not prevent that, upon arriving on the Real Madrid bench in January 2016, one of his first decisions was to concentrate the greatest amount of talent in that field. offensive (Modric, Kroos, Isco, James …) with no one next to him who would think more than necessary about his own goal.
Casemiro, the footballer who does everything Kroos maintains his speech Modric does not admit luxurious retreats
The measure, as it was foreseeable, he collided with problems similar to those he suffered short, although with a difference, the coach Zidane did have the solution at hand: Casemiro , who, desperate, had come to ask him for an audience after playing just 20 minutes of garbage in the first eight encounters of the Zidane era. Nobody imagined it then, but that is how the triangle that squared the center of the white field was born five years ago: Casemiro-Kroos-Modric.
The shortlist began as a support and shuttle for the BBC (Benzema-Bale-Cristiano), then received the Isco's company and, again alone, has multiplied its importance in the post-Ronaldo period. The departure of the Portuguese led the team to an internal search process, still with many fringes, but all those who have occupied that bench since then have had it clear with the three of them. This Tuesday against Liverpool, except for novelty, they will exceed the number of titles, adding only the League and the Champions League, to another magic triangle: Busquets-Xavi-Iniesta. Now both formations accumulate 113, with better absolute numbers for the Catalans: 77 victories, 25 draws and 11 defeats, compared to the 69-20-24 of the Madridistas.
The white mix caught on from the beginning. "Casemiro has been fundamental," proclaimed Zidane after winning his first classic (1-2) in April 2016. Unfortunately for Isco or James, the Brazilian provided the necessary concrete in that set with a tendency to split. The trio that did not dare to canonize Rafa Benítez was the one that ended up squaring ZZ's Madrid. Five years later, the line that moves the least is still non-negotiable.
"The machine is very well oiled," says a person who lived with them in Valdebebas' day-to-day life. “They have generated such synergy that the three of them are very clear about what they need to achieve their maximum performance. They are different profiles and each one occupies a step in the field and a role. Could another chip be substituted? The result would be different. They have been playing together for so long that actions are stored in the unconscious and that in the professional world is milk, because you gain space and time ", develops this soccer professional.
The immediate danger
To Modric, whom his teammates call" vinegar "For his reactions when he loses, he would like to have the coldness in the pass of Kroos, his old colleague with whom he had a feeling from the beginning thanks to a" very similar personality ". The German, for his part, warned that he could not offer Casemiro's virtues, an aspect that was already clear in his first season at the Bernabéu, when the Brazilian was not yet there. And this, an obsessed with the soul of a coach who learned the trade by also watching videos of Makelele, ensures that Madrid play at the speed of Kroos. A complementary and very profitable cocktail: three Champions in a row, two Leagues, three Club World Cups and two European Super Cups. "For you it was an incredible game and they accepted it normally," says the person who shared with them training sessions, trips and games.
The influence of the three has grown in this Madrid that works by heart. This campaign they accumulate 12 goals, only two less than the entire forward together except for Benzema, Kroos is the leader in assists (nine) and, before starting this day of the League, Casemiro and Modric were among the top 20 recoveries (149 and 140, respectively), the most of his team.
The person who was close to them on a daily basis warns, however, that the upcoming clashes with Liverpool and Barcelona will place them in the most dangerous match scenarios for their conditions. “The rivals that suit them the worst are the ones who take control of them. Either through possession or transitions. Teams that come and go make them feel uncomfortable because they lose the initiative, ”he explains. The future that awaits Madrid this course will depend, to a large extent, on the football of Casemiro, Modric and Kroos.
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