Those who say Ferland Mendy is a liability on the ball must tune into the 86th minute of the Supercup semifinal against Barca. You got to have guts and confidence to pull off the “Zidane turn” in your own box when the opposition is turning on the heat.
Yes Mendy may not be an offensive juggernaut like Marcelo but he can be incisive in his overlapping runs and strangely take a mean shot with his right foot. His defensive prowess is where Mendy’s impact stands out. Attacks win you games, but it’s the defense that will power you to the Champions League titles. Ferland Mendy is by far the best defensive left back in Europe.
It is never ideal when you lose your captain and one of the best centre backs of his generation but losing the centre back partnership that won you so much in a single transfer window is potentially catastrophic. Eder Militao held his own last season putting in solid performances against Liverpool and Barcelona to somewhat justify his €50m transfer fee.
However not many Real Madrid fans would have imagined the kind of performances he is putting in this season. He has formed a great partnership with David Alaba at the back. He has the ability to track back quickly and bully the opposition striker. There are a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out such as man-marking on corners and ball distribution.
Militao is slowly turning into the player that Real Madrid hoped for. If his recent performances are any indication then he will surely replicate another Porto legend, Pepe, who won no less than three Champions League titles for Los Blancos.
Camavinga has always been earmarked to do great things. His performances at Rennes caught the eye of many suitors across Europe. However with some players you just get the feeling that they are destined to play for Real Madrid.
Ever since his arrival at a bargain price of 30 million euros, he has become the darling of Bernabeu. Every time he picks up the ball and runs at the opposition midfields he exudes confidence and exhilaration.
He is lucky to be playing under the tutelage of the maestros Kroos and Modric who are into the final stretches of their careers. Real Madrid faithful are pinning their hopes on him to carry the baton and lead the team into a new promising era with Champions League titles galore.
Imagine an alternate world where PSG gives into Real Madrid’s outrageous 200 million Euro bid for Kylian Mbappe . He would have arrived amid much fanfare and welcomed by Bernabeu as the heir to Cristiano Ronaldo and occupied his preferred left wing spot. Every Real Madrid fan will endorse this deal without an iota of doubt except one Madridista – Vinicius Jr.
Since his arrival as a teen sensation from Flamengo, Vini has had a tumultuous career as a Real
Madrid player. He was the sole shining light in an overall appalling 2018-19 season. However just being an exciting prospect does not suffice at Real Madrid. There were pertinent question marks over his judgement and finishing.
Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival has brought about a change in fortunes for Vini. He has really come of age. He has already scored 15 goals including a chip against Barca in the Supercopa Semifinal more than doubling his 2020-21 tally. His partnership with Benzema has led Madrid to the top of LaLiga. He has become an indispensable part of the side owning the left side of the flank.