Luka Modric is being hailed in Madrid this Thursday morning as calm descends on the victory over Manchester United.
The Croatian is credited by both Marca and AS as the game changer – much as Jose Mourinho ascertained following the 2-1 win.
Modric often played some of his best games for Spurs against Manchester United and the 59th minute introduction of the Croatian playmaker, just seconds after Nani’s dismissal, was key to swinging the tie Real Madrid’s way.
Marca, who feature Modric on their front page today, suggest that Real Madrid supporters will know forget the fee Florentino Perez paid to Spurs.
“His performance was well worth a DVD for the archive. Class, intelligence, dribbling, shooting and scoring. There are games that define a season. Modric achieved this in little over half an hour,” writes Hugo Cerezo in Marca.
Luka Modric had a hand in both goals, scoring a terrific opener before his involvement in the second, all within 10 minutes of coming on as a sub for Alvaro Arbeloa.
Of course, Modric’s performance can also be credited to a tactical masterstroke from Jose Mourinho.
Which begs the question: Should Sir Alex Ferguson have reacted quicker to Nani’s departure and not waited until the 73rd minute, when Real Madrid were 2-1 up, to make a change?