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Who wants to live forever..
Here we are, born to be kings
We’re the princes of the universe
Here we belong, fighting to survive..” - Queen
Following the departure of Xabi Alonso, there was genuine concern about the Real Madrid midfield. Xabi was not just a commander but he was tactically important to the defensive shape of the team despite not being a great defender himself. He was replaced by Kroos who was ultra-offensive in comparison.
The 2015/16 season saw the return of Casemiro and the unlikely appointment of Zidane as manager. The KCM was born. A threepeat and two doubles later we salute these immortals. They follow an impressive line of great players and myths. These players will likely never be surpassed in our lifetime.
From Di Stefano to Camavinga
The Real Madrid midfield might be the most treacherous place in world football. The waters are unforgiving and many talented players have been swept away over the years. Those who rise above the waters make history while those who sink are forgotten. The torch bearer of the current era is none other than Luka Modric who had to play the 2014 CL final without Xabi Alonso and lost Khedira after half-time. He was graceful through the fire on that night and has not looked back since.
Chaos is a ladder.. Edu’s rise
Eduardo Camavinga has gone from young and promising to having to see out the biggest games of the season. It has been incredible to watch a kid without a pre-season just waltz into the dressing room and take to the rough seas like a duck to still waters. There is a lot he has to improve but he’s decidedly one of the great talents of his generation. He can, dribble, tackle, sprint, win headers and make some lovely passes(needs more volume).
Fede was arguably the most excited player in the Champions League final. He had suggested that it was the most important moment of his life and he seized it without hesitation. Fede did not play his preferred midfield role but he’s shown great intelligence and adaptability so early in his career. I have no doubt he’s on the way to immortality if he stays healthy. The 2022/23 season, Fede will have to dislodge one of the KCM.
The KCM era stares down the barrel of a gun with the signing of Aurelien Tchouameni. He has developed as a CM even at international level with World Champions, France. He is tall, fast and aggressive on both sides of the ball. He keeps the ball with relative ease. It will become impossible to start KCM as a trio this season once Tchouameni walks out onto the pitch in the white strip.
Vinícius Tobias vs Uruguay U20 (13/06/2022).— Real Madrid Fabrica (@FabricaMadrid) June 14, 2022
The more you see this kid play the more you get the impression he needs to keep playing and he will get better because he’s already technically gifted. He needs to improve physically and tactically but that will just take time. I wish Real Madrid could be patient with him.
Back to the future
The 2021/22 season has continued to show that what the Real Madrid midfield has lacked in physicality cannot be replaced by intelligence alone. The emergence of Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and new boy Aurelien Tchouameni does not guarantee anything except the inevitable changing of the guard. They will have to toil like their predecessors, “Hasta el final” and if they are brave enough to sail through these treacherous waters, perhaps they too will become Princes of the universe. It is too soon to know exactly how these youngsters will develop and what their limitations will be going forward but so far the attitude and determination they shown has been encouraging. Talent is not everything. It goes a long way but you have to fight to survive as a Real Madrid midfielder. The bar has been set at an all-time high. We would do well to salute the immortals.
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