Fede Valverde was the name on everybody’s lips after Real Madrid’s 4-2 victory over Granada. The 21-year-old midfielder seemed to be everywhere. His engine and effort were never lacking and when coupled with his composure on the ball and ability to drive through the midfield, he was Madrid’s most impactful player. He’s now off to international duty with Uruguay, and was asked about his good performance by the Uruguayan media.
“I know that I have to keep my feet on the ground and use the praise as motivation to continue working and learning from my coaches and teammates. I try to ignore the press, it’s good that they speak well of me, but I know that I have to maintain this level”, he commented.
Zidane has certainly been impressed with his midfield gem, singling him out for praise in his last three post-match press conferences. Fede acknowledged the trust and work his manager has placed in him. “He [Zidane] is asking me to give my best, which I am in training and it helps a lot when a coach gives you this trust. It’s great that a coach like him speaks highly about me, but you have to keep a low profile. He’s asking me to improve my physical condition in order to press, go, and return.”
The Uruguayan is still a relatively unknown quantity at the top level. His best position is yet to be determined, but Fede himself feels comfortable playing more advanced, deep, or as a box to box midfielder. “ I feel comfortable anywhere in the midfield. Zidane is playing me as a number 5 or a number 8, I feel comfortable, I’m confident when it comes to playing, hungry to arrive in the box.”
In a squad that is lacking midfield depth, Fede Valverde should continue to get plenty of chances as the season progresses to show his impressive level. Zidane has been in desperate search of a midfielder with the athleticism to reach both boxes without lacking the technique to control a game, he may just have found his man in young Fede Valverde.