Modric ready to end 2019 in style

Luka Modric kicked off 2019 with the Ballon d’Or award in his hands and now, as 2019 draws to a close, he is willing to end this year in the best possible way.

Casemiro was sanctioned for Real Madrid’s game against Athletic Club on Sunday and the Croatian is expected to take his teammate’s place in the starting line-up.

The 2018 World Cup finalist is eager to demonstrate that he is a paramount cog for Los Blancos and he wants to make a statement in his team’s last game in this calendar year.

Modric has fallen down in Zinedine Zidane’s pecking order, with Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Fede Valverde being the Frenchman’s first-choice midfielders.

The Croatia international has been included in the squad list 16 times this season, however he has started on the bench in seven of those games.

He was a substitute in the games against Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and, most recently, at the Camp Nou against Barcelona.

In the last two, Zidane opted for a 4-4-2 formation, but he decided to start Isco ahead of the 34-year-old.

Modric, who has been sidelined twice this season, is the fourth Real Madrid midfielder in terms of minutes played with 861, ahead of the Spaniard who has accumulated 637 minutes.