Modric admits Real Madrid focus is on Champions League final
MAY 16, 2014 11:52a ET
Madrid still have the opportunity to finish above rivals Barcelona, but since last weekend's 2-0 loss to Celta Vigo ended their hopes of winning La Liga, attention has shifted almost entirely to next weekend's clash with Atletico Madrid in Lisbon, where they have a chance to win a 10th European crown.
"We are just thinking about beating Atletico," said midfielder Modric. "We are focused on the game and then we'll see how we celebrate it."
Madrid could also be forgiven for looking away from the league, where they face the unpalatable choice of seeing either city rivals Atletico or arch-rivals Barcelona take the title as the two go head-to-head at the Nou Camp later in the day.
An Atletico win would open the door for Madrid to go above Barca into second with victory over Espanyol, but rather than fight for a top-two finish it seems more likely that Carlo Ancelotti will choose to rest his star players for the showdown in Lisbon.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been dealing with niggling injuries in recent weeks, and although Carlo Ancelotti has insisted he is fit the Portuguese could well be rested ahead of the final. Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema are also carrying knocks which will likely mean they are not risked.
On the eve of the match, Espanyol announced it would be the last in charge for coach Javier Aguirre after talks over a new contract proved unsuccessful.
"I thank everyone involved in the club for all their support," Aguirre said. "We decided to bring an end to this stage.
"I want to thank the fans who have helped us a lot."
The 55-year-old Mexican has been in talks with club president Jean Collet in recent weeks but speculation had been mounting as the talks drew on, with Aguirre being linked with a return to international football.
"I thank Aguirre and I wish him all the luck in the world," said Collet, who appeared alongside the departing coach at Friday's press conference.
Espanyol sit 12th in the table going into the final round of fixtures.