Modric’s unreal, exquisite pass with the outside of his right foot for Rodrygo to volley rejuvenated Los Blancos against Chelsea, just when it looked like they were hopeless. His eye-of-a-needle pass through the legs of Presnel Kimpembe for Karim Benzema to score handed the Spaniard’s life against PSG, levelling a contest that until that point had gone almost entirely in the opposition’s favour.
Modric’s craft and guile and Benzema’s ruthlessness in front of goal have been Real Madrid’s most devastating weapons en route to the Champions League semi-finals. The first match is at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
But the Croatian international midfielder is a warrior, too, lifting Real in their most desperate moments through his grit, resilience, and sheer force of will.
Two minutes before he bamboozled PSG with that feathered pass through to Benzema in the last 16, Modric had already raised the Santiago Bernabéu to its feet.
PSG had an edge on aggregate, And Lionel Messi was about to embark on a trademark, scuttling run down the right-wing from a counterattack.
Despite being in the ending part of his career, Modric scampered after Messi, tracked him, and closed in.
He lunged across with his right foot, hooked the ball out of play, and clattered Messi to the ground, the stadium roaring with delight, a surge of momentum crackling through the stands.