Soccer / leader

5 crucial players for Real Madrid this season
Real Madrid is on the verge of, perhaps, one of the most significant seasons in its long history. At the moment, the club could not sign a direct replacement for Ronaldo, which makes the task of other players even more important. However, Real Madrid do possess quality players on their star-studded roster who can make the departure of Ronaldo seem insignificant. Here are five players who are able to drag the Madrid club to new victories: Toni Kroos Since joining Madrid from Bayern in 2014, Kroos has consistently ensured that Real's star attackers get the service they need to rack in the goals. Despite not being on the score-sheet too often, he does a great job in the center of the field. It remains to be seen whether Kroos will be able to move away from his failed campaign at the World Cup, but if he does this, we are in for a treat. Isco Like Kroos, Isco's World Cup campaign ended prematurely when hosts Russia shocked Spain in the Round of 16. However, having 61 goals and 63 assists for "Los Blancos", Isco shows why he has something to offer. A fast, creative and flexible playmaker can lead a team, which has already been proven. Since joining in 2013, the gifted Spanish midfielder won one title in La Liga and four Champions League titles, becoming the mainstay in this Madrid team. He also worked under the guidance of the current coach Lopetegui (in the Spanish national team) and is already well versed in his tactics. Rumours are that Madrid chose not to sign Eden Hazard, instead opting for Isco to replace Ronaldo. This underlines the importance and respect Isco commands in the team. Marcelo Perhaps the most versatile player in Madrid (and perhaps in the world), the Brazilian Marcelo proves that age is just a number. At the age of 30, he makes sure he owns the left side of the pitch with his unwavering endurance and relentless determination. Equally adept in attack and defense, the Brazilian has become world famous for his unique hairstyle and unsurpassed passion for the game. With an incredible collection of trophies (there are already 21), Marcelo deserved the love of all the fans of the Real Madrid and without him it is absolutely impossible to imagine the current team! He also boasts a remarkable 36 goals and 65 assists in his career. Without a doubt, Marcelo will once again play a key role in the conquests of Real Madrid. Luka Modric The diminutive Croatian magician is in the form of his life at the moment. He created waves around the world as his passing, creativity and shooting guided underdogs Croatia to their first ever World Cup final in Russia. With impressive victories over heavyweights, such as Argentina and England, Croatia shocked everyone with its selfless game this summer, and Modric was in the center (literally). Such was his performance that he is considered among the frontrunners for the Ballon d'Or and favourite to break the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly. Modric was strongly associated with the move to Inter Milan in the summer, and his agent confirmed that he could leave. Nevertheless, Modric has since continued to deny reports that he contacted Inter, and at the moment it seems that Luke will remain, at least this season. If Modric repeats or even improves his game after the World Cup, it would be a huge bonus for his team. Gareth Bale In the Real Madrid simply must be prolific and talented scorer, who takes on the expectations of fans. Gareth Bale, no doubt, is able to take on the role of "big star" for Madrid. Bale joined Madrid in 2013 for a record transfer after the Tottenham. Since then, it has not been smooth sailing for the Welshman as trouble with injury, inconsistency and unrealistically high expectations created by the media has seen Bale go under the radar. However, his tally of 16 league goals in just 26 games in an injury-plagued season adds weight to the fact that at his best, Gareth Bale is a force to be reckoned with. If Bale again struggles with the same problems that have plagued him in the last few years, it's hard to understand what Real Madrid is claiming this year, especially if they do not intensify the attack over the last few days of the transfer window. On the other hand, if Bale eventually replaces Ronaldo, when he is most needed, and will also score valuable goals, then it is not known how far this Real Madrid can go.

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