Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos put in a Man of the Match performance against Villarreal on Thursday night as Real Madrid made a heroic comeback to advance to the Copa del Rey quarter-finals, where they will face Atletico Madrid.
It’s safe to say that Real Madrid would not have advanced last night had it not been for Ceballos. Down 2 - 0 and struggling, Carlo Ancelotti introduced Ceballos and Marco Asensio in the 56th minute. The two players replaced Toni Kroos and Rodrygo Goes respectively. After the change, Ceballos had one assist, one hockey assist, as well as the game-winning goal in the 86th minute. Asensio, meanwhile, played the pivotal assist to Ceballos for the winner.
Wasn’t long ago Ceballos was among the Champions League bench mob that helped change games with his energy. In certain game states in the 2nd half he’s perfect. Been huge off the bench today.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) January 19, 2023
Ceballos was very involved off the bench last night. He operated mainly in the left half space, but roamed wherever needed to win the ball and help his team in possession. His energy was unplayable, and Villarreal had no answer for his tenacity.
In 34 minutes in the second half, Ceballos had 32 touches, one assist, two key passes, a beautiful ball into the box in the build-up to Real Madrid’s first goal, one goal himself, 3-of-5 accurate long balls, two interceptions, and three duels won.
Ceballos’s performance helped Real Madrid win and gain some confidence during a low-point of the season. He certainly made the club double-think about extending his contract.
Do Real Madrid fans undervalue him?
Matt Wiltse posed the question on last night’s Managing Madrid Podcast.
Question I posed for @KiyanSo last night:— Matt Wiltse (@MattWiltse4) January 20, 2023
Do we undervalue Dani Ceballos?
I'd argue he has the quality to start for every team in La Liga bar the top 3 - RM / Barca/ and arguably Real Sociedad (though I think he would be a good replacement for ageing David Silva).
Should Real Madrid extend Ceballos?
Would you renew Ceballos and Asensio?— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) January 20, 2023