Luka Modric opens up about 'surprising' exits of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane from Real Madrid
What's the story?
Real Madrid have begun their season without former talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, and former manager Zinedine Zidane. Los Blancos currently find themselves in 4th place on the LaLiga table but remain just 2 points adrift of first-placed Sevilla and 1 point behind second-placed Barcelona and third-placed Atletico Madrid.
While both exits and their timing stunned the world, the rest of the team had no choice but to look ahead and move on. Now, however, in an interview with France Football via (ESPN), Real Madrid and Croatia star, Luka Modric, has finally opened up about the exits, labelling them as "surprising".
In case you didn't know...
After the victory in the final of the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League against Liverpool, Real Madrid made history by becoming the first ever team to win 3 consecutive Champions League titles.
Contrary to what everyone expected, the joy soon left a bitter taste in the mouth as Cristiano Ronaldo cast a gigantic shadow over his future at the club.
5 days later, Zidane resigned as manager and eventually, a little over a month later, Ronaldo completed a €100 million transfer to Juventus.
The heart of the matter
Speaking to France Football, Modric revealed that he was, in fact, surprised by both exits, saying that they weren't expected by anyone in the team.
"I didn't expect it for either of them [to leave]," Modric told France Football. "I didn't think Zidane was going to leave, same thing for Ronaldo."
Modric also revealed that none of the players eventually believed the rumours regarding Ronaldo's transfer, brushing it aside as annual transfer window drama.
"Actually, when the rumour about Cristiano came out, we made bets between us in the dressing room and we were convinced that he would stay in the end. But everyone makes their own choices in life."
Ronaldo is yet to discover his true form and fire at Juventus, although he has already shown plenty of signs and intent. It looks to be just a matter of time before he's back to his routine goal-scoring exploits.
Zidane has constantly been linked with a managerial role at Manchester United, where Jose Mourinho seems to be losing his grasp on matters. However, there seems to be no movement on that front just yet.