Barca – Real: thinking of each other

” Both sides were playing without their most expensive signing of the summer – Luka Modric for Real, Alex Song for Barcelona. The precise role of each player is uncertain, but both are more naturally suited to the other side – Modric is a short passer that Barca would probably buy if they didn’t already have so many players in that mould, Song is a physical defensive midfielder that more suits a combative Real midfield.

The two clubs haven’t chosen to indulge more in their own identity, but instead respond to the other’s strength.”

(Getty)

Modric

Luka Modric’s predecessor in this respect is Nuri Sahin, who found himself unwanted at Real after only a year at the club, however Modric is a very different player from Sahin. He’s less vertical, he’s more composed and patient on the ball, and he’s probably more versatile with his role

– Modric could play in Alonso’s role with Xabi dropping deeper and Khederia to the bench or could play higher up the pitch instead of Ozil and give Real more control in midfield.

Alex Song

– a ball playing centre half? and a physical player to replace Keita.

– Song at Arsenal has played as a defensive midfielder, then a fluid midfielder as well as recording 11 assists (4th highest in the EPL) in his last season.

Super Cup Display

In last night’s game, Modric’s major contribution and Song’s major contribution were in the same passage of play. In the 91st minute, Modric nipped in ahead of Xavi Hernandez to nick the ball, laid it off quickly, then motored into the penalty box, got the return pass, and shot at goal. Song was there to block it.

It sums up the qualities each will bring to their new club this season – Modric is a central midfielder with quick feet and good spatial awareness, while Song is there to do the dirty work. Depending on how much the two players feature, this season may see convergence of the two teams in terms of style.

Read Zonal Marking on Modric and Song arrivals indicate Barcelona and Real are thinking about each other’s style

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