Real Madrid star Modric: I’m 35 but I feel like I’m only 27!

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric said he's feeling like he's 27, not 35, after helping the Blancos cruise into the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday. 

Modric provided a key assist for Karim Benzema's opener against Atalanta, as Madrid defeated the Serie A side 3-1 in the last-16 second leg to advance 4-1 on aggregate. 

Head coach Zinedine Zidane also marvelled at Modric's ageless performance, saying it was impossible to tell the midfielder is 35. 

What was said?

“Atalanta press a lot, all over the pitch, they don’t stop," Modric told Movistar after the game. "Benzema’s goal came at the right time. It gave us the confidence to keep going.

"I’m 35 but I feel like I’m only 27. I feel great. You shouldn’t look at the age, it’s all about how we perform on the pitch, regardless of age. I’m still hungry for more, to continue playing at the highest level and I feel great.

"It’s so important that we’ve advanced to the quarter-finals. The group wants to keep winning, and we’ll see how far we go.”

Zidane added: "The double pivot of Modric and [Toni] Kroos was phenomenal tonight.

"Modric is 35 right? But on the pitch he doesn't show that. He's an exceptional player."

The bigger picture

Modric has been a key figure for Madrid since he joined from Tottenham in 2012 at age 26.

The Croatian has won La Liga twice and the Champions League four times, while also clinching the Ballon d'Or in 2018. 

Modric has been a key figure again this season, making 35 appearances in all competitions while scoring four goals. 

Modric's contract with Madrid expires at the end of the season but various reports have indicated the veteran midfielder will sign a one-year extension before the end of the season.

Further reading