Luka Modric has expressed his desire to retire at Real Madrid, following the signing of a new deal that will keep him at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2020. The former Tottenham Hotspur playmaker also divulged the latest about his return from a knee injury suffered last month.
Real Madrid announced earlier this week an agreement to keep the 31-year-old at the club for another four seasons, just days after Toni Kroos committed himself to the Santiago Bernabeu until the summer of 2022.
The deal means Modric will remain in Spain's capital until he is 34. However, the Croatia international has expressed his hopes that he can stay at the club beyond the 2019-20 campaign.
"I hope it's not my last contract renewal. My desire is to retire at Real Madrid and with this renewal I am closer to that challenge, but it depends on many things. How I feel, what I contribution to the team... But my idea is to retire here," Modric revealed during a press conference.
Modric moved to Real Madrid from Spurs in the summer of 2012. His start to the life with Los Blancos was not easy but the Croatian eventually proved the doubters wrong and became a key player for the Champions League winners. He has now hailed the move after admitting he needed to take a step forward in his career from Spurs, having previously been heavily linked with a switch to Chelsea in 2011.
"There came a time at Tottenham where I had to change to improve and grow as a player," Modric added. "I've always had confidence in myself. I did not doubt my quality and I knew that sooner or later I would succeed here, working every day in training and in the games. I did not start well, but I never stopped believing in myself. I came to the biggest club and the demand was very high."
Modric has since won two Champions League crowns but is yet to have the same luck in domestic competition. However, he hopes to win La Liga this season.
"I haven't won the league yet and hopefully this is the year. You can say that it is our priority because for a club like Real Madrid to go four years without winning it is too long," Modric admitted. "That does not mean we do not want to win the Champions League, the cup and everything else that we play in."
Modric is working hard on his rehabilitation in a bid to return to action as soon as possible to help his side to reach those targets. The midfielder was forced to undergo surgery on his left knee in order to extract a fragment of damaged patellar cartilage earlier this month and is yet to play since the Champions League draw against Borussia Dortmund on 27 September.
Reports at time suggested that he could be on the sidelines for between one and two months, but Modric has now refused to set a return date.
"I feel good. Every day I feel better. I'm working a lot and hard to get back as soon as possible. I take each day as it comes and hope to return soon. I feel better, but I cannot say when I will be available again. It is a compliment that they say that my absence from the team has been noted, but I prefer that others say things like that. It gives me the confidence to work harder," he said.
"I'm not worried. When I analyse every injury, I see that I came back stronger. What I've been through are things that can happen in football. I feel good, I take care of myself a lot, and I'm not worried about getting older. I feel good. There may be people who think I'm old at 31, but I feel very good and I think I'm playing some of the best football of my life."