4 takeaways from Europe: Luka Modric masterclass, Kylian Mbappe benched again & more


The weekend’s European football action was thoroughly dominated by stars of the past, present and future.

Luka Modric hit the headlines for rolling back the years in Madrid, Kylian Mbappe was surprisingly benched in Paris again and Lamine Yamal scored an utterly sublime goal for Barcelona.

After all that fun, here are 90min’s takeaways from yet another enthralling weekend of European football.

Luka Modric

Modric remains a class act / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

It’s 2024, Luka Modric is 38 years old and still somehow one of the best midfielders in world football.

Although used more sporadically than ever by Carlo Ancelotti, every time Modric has been afforded a start this season he’s been Madrid’s player of the match – Sunday’s clash with Celta Vigo was no exception.

The midfielder put in a spellbinding outing on the left of Madrid’s midfield three, winning seven duels, 100% of his tackles, completing 95% of his passes and creating a quite ridiculous eight chances throughout his 83 minutes on the field.

A true masterclass.

Luis Enrique, Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe was benched again / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

Here’s a rather incredible fact for you: Kylian Mbappe hasn’t played the full 90 minutes of a Ligue 1 game since February 2.

As well as being subbed off regularly, Mbappe has also been resigned to the bench for two recent games – the latest of which being Sunday’s disappointing 2-2 draw with Reims.

In light of the forward’s impending PSG exit, Luis Enrique recently insisted the club must begin to plan for life without their star man. It’s clear by Enrique’s usage of Mbappe in recent weeks that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Lamine Yamal

Yamal is a future superstar / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Plenty of exciting young players have graduated from La Masia in recent years – Pedri and Gavi just to name a few – but perhaps none have been quite as exciting as Lamine Yamal since a certain Lionel Messi burst onto the scene two decades ago.

Despite being just 16 years old, Yamal has been one of Barca’s most consistent and effective forwards in recent months and was at his brilliant best once again against Mallorca on Friday evening.

The youngster bagged a stunning goal – his ninth goal contribution of the season so far – to give his side a vital three points.

Let’s just hope Barca are a bit more careful with his development than they have been with Ansu Fati, Pedri and Gavi…

Harry Kane, Serge Gnabry

A big win / Daniel Kopatsch/GettyImages

Following a run which has derailed their attempt to win a record-extending 12th Bundesliga title in a row and set an end date for Thomas Tuchel’s tenure at the club, Bayern Munich finally gave their fans something to celebrate on Saturday.

Well, eight things to celebrate in fact.

FC Hollywood were back to their very, very best against Mainz, bagging a whopping eight goals in an 8-1 win at the Allianz Arena.

Thanks to Bayer Leverkusen’s outrageous form such a win is probably too little too late at this stage, but it was fun afternoon for Bayern fans nevertheless.

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