Real Madrid must prove they are “the best team in the world” when they face Manchester City to reach the UEFA Champions League final, says Luke Modric.
The meeting between the teams at Manchester last week was the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final to see seven goals scored, after Liverpool beat Roma 5-2 in 2017-18.
Premier League leaders City hold the reins, 4-3 against the Santiago Bernabeu and have advanced to nine of the last 10 Champions League two-legged competitions when they have won the first leg.
Madrid were knocked out of the last five semi-finals of the tournament when they lost the first leg, but Los Blancos advanced to the last two of their last three matches, including their impressive return against Paris Saint-Germain. in March.
Modric played a key role in that victory and in their quarter-final renewal against Chelsea, and the 36-year-old was in fine form at Tuesday’s pre-match news conference.
“The atmosphere in the locker room is very good. We are looking forward to it. We know what we have to do, it is the most important game this season,” said Modric, who is celebrating winning his third LaLiga title. Saturday when Madrid beat Espanyol to win their 35th home title.
“We are very confident that we will be back. We know that in the first leg we did not play our best game, but we still scored three goals. We have to do better, and I am sure of that.”
Modric believes Madrid’s iconic history could play its part in moving Carlo Ancelotti’s side to the finals for the first time since 2018.
He said: “What do we have? Quality, a lot of character. The history of this team also plays a part. The team, which has the most titles in the Champions League .
“All of this has a huge impact. We are not giving up. The team has taught us this since we came here. We have to show that we are Real Madrid, the best team in the world.”
Modric played a key role in Madrid winning three consecutive Champions League titles between 2015-16 and 2017-18, and also helped them win ‘La Decima’ during Ancelotti’s 2013-14 season.
“I’m sure it’s important. It’s good to remember that we have won four Champions League titles, some of which are in line for a fifth final,” Modric said when asked if that was important for City, who have already reached one. Lastly, he lost last season to Chelsea, before mocking the suggestion that Madrid were lucky in the past.
“Being here and winning these many Champions League, is not just luck. It makes us laugh a little, even though everyone can say what they like.
“We focus on what we do and we don’t care what they say outside. To get to this point every year, beat big rivals and win titles, you have to be more than lucky: character, personality, faith. This is what makes us win.”