Liverpool must stop ‘pivotal’ Luka Modric in Champions League final, Sergio Aguero claims

Liverpool must stop ‘pivotal’ Luka Modric in Champions League final, Sergio Aguero claims

Sergio Aguero believes that stopping the “pivotal” Luka Modric is key to Liverpool’s chances of beating Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

The influential Croatian midfielder has again been a key part of Madrid’s run to the Paris decider, controlling the game in the heart of Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Modric produced a fine performance the last time these two clubs met in the final of this competition in 2018, clinching a third successive Champions League crown.

The 36-year-old is now in his tenth season in the Spanish capital, and though tipping Jurgen Klopp’s side for a fast start at the Stade de France, Aguero feels that Modric could be the spark to allow Real Madrid’s counter-attack to ignite.

“I think Liverpool will kick off with their usual intensity,” Aguero, a global ambassador, said.

“They’ll aim to score from the get-go. Their attack is top-notch, and their wingers can carry the ball forwards and assist brilliantly.

“Madrid will play on the counter, making the most of Vinicius Jr’s speed and [Karim] Benzema’s form.

“[Luka] Modric will be one to watch out for, as he always plays a pivotal role in these instances. He’s a pivotal player and even more so in finals.

“His passing is superb. He commits to win. His striking is clean, particularly at mid-distance.”

A fourth European Cup crown would make Ancelotti the outright most successful manager in competition history.

The Italian has already made history this year by winning La Liga and becoming the first coach to claim the title in all five of Europe’s major leagues.

While Liverpool have secured their own impressive collection of trophies, the spine of the Real Madrid team is formed of serial winners, including several players who were part of Zinedine Zidane’s side that won three in a row, and Aguero feels that may also count come Saturday night in Paris.

“I think Real Madrid have more experience overall as a club, but Liverpool have shown up well in the Champions League for the past few years,” the former Manchester City striker explained.

“It will be close, but I think Madrid will be more confident, having played the finals before and turning around tough games in the past.

“That’s the edge I can point towards. History and experience does tilt the scales. Madrid proved it, winning their home legs with the Bernabeu being a key factor. But the final is on neutral ground so it may be more balanced.

“Real has had many great teams, and this is no different. Beyond the individual performances of each time, the club itself has a weight of its own.

“When players understand that, no matter which team they’re playing for, the weight of history becomes more present.”