MADRID, Spain (AP) — Luka Modric has little time to adapt to his new surroundings as Real Madrid chase their first victory of the season against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup today.
Madrid signed Modric from Tottenham on Monday, a day after a shock loss at Getafe continued their worst start in nearly 40 years. Madrid trail Barcelona 3-2 going into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Madrid spent a reported ¤35 million (US$44 million) on the attacking player with their defence, missing Pepe, struggling and having conceded five goals in two straight losses.
Modric have already trained with the team and was included in the squad by coach Jose Mourinho, who also brought back out-of-favour midfielder Kaka for the first time since the opening round.
"I'm ready, but coach will decide if he will use me or not," Modric said. "It's gonna be tough for me to earn a place but that's the challenge, the biggest challenge of my career. Expectations are as high as possible and I'm ready for that."
Madrid's performance at Getafe was ineffective and Mourinho may hope Modric's arrival provides some kind of a spark for his side with Barcelona in great form to begin the season.