Real Madrid's Luka Modric during training. Image Credit: Reuters

Al Ain: Real Madrid’s Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric says he is in the best of shape and is motivated to ensure that his team completes a hat-trick of Club World Cup triumphs in UAE.

“I feel much better going into this tournament than I did at the start of the season. I struggled to find my rhythm again after what was a very tough World Cup. I was worn out physically and mentally, but in the last few matches I’ve been feeling better in a physical sense,” said the Croatian in an interview to

Los Blancos have struggled this season with their strikeforce — losing lot of sheen following the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo. Their troubles mounted even after Julen Lopetegui was sacked as coach in October and Santiago Solari took charge. They are heading to the UAE at the back of their biggest ever home defeat in Europe — 3-0 to CSKA Moscow.

“We’re working to be better physically and to be able to express our talent and abilities on the pitch better.

“We’re trying to stick together more on the pitch and to be a team. I think we’ve got better under Solari in that respect. There are still some areas where we can improve but I think we’re heading to Abu Dhabi in pretty good form. When there’s a trophy at stake, we’re motivated,” said Modric, who won the adidas Golden Ball in last year’s competition.

Modric has lifted the Uefa Champions League with Real and he also was instrumental in leading Croatia to a memorable runner-up at the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia. Earlier this month, he ended the duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win the Fifa top honours but the 33-year-old still has an appetite for more.

“My objectives are to win more titles: the Champions League, the league and the Copa del Rey, which we haven’t won since 2014. I’d like to win it again. I try to win every competition I play in. I’m still very hungry and I’m going to work hard to be at the level I need to be to help the team.”