Real Madrid’s recent goalless draw against Rayo Vallecano has once again raised concerns about the team’s scoring prowess this season. Despite notable goal-scoring performances from players like Jude Bellingham, Vinicius and Rodrygo, who were prolific last season, are struggling to find the back of the net. This decline has prompted football analyst Álvaro Benito to shed light on what might be causing their struggles. Benito, in a recent interview on El Larguero, has pointed out the absence of Karim Benzema and the change in the team’s structure as significant factors contributing to the reduced offensive capabilities of these two Brazilian talents.
Karim Benzema’s Influence
Benito emphasized that Karim Benzema’s impact on Real Madrid’s attack went far beyond his goal and assist statistics. “Beyond what he contributed directly, which were his goals and his assists, he had the ability to attract defenders so that teammates had more options to see the goal,” Benito explained. “Benzema attracted a lot of attention and attention from defenders. Because of this, both Vinicius and Rodrygo had much easier times when moving around the field.”
Changing Team Structure
Real Madrid’s shift in playing style has also played a role in Vinicius and Rodrygo’s declining form according to Alvaro Benito. He pointed out that the team’s system has evolved, leading to both players having a harder time finding goal-scoring opportunities. He noted, “Madrid has changed the system, and now Rodrygo is less Rodrygo, and Vinicius is less Vinicius. They are struggling to create chances.” Despite their ability to win games, it’s evident that the team’s gameplay isn’t as fluid as it used to be.
Vinicius, in particular, has faced challenges adapting to the new system. Benito went on to explain: “Vinicius likes to receive with the ball with his open foot. For this you need fluid ball circulation from the team and, with the 4-4-2, you have less height or vertical options in the game when it comes to giving Vinicius passes. There are fewer players between the lines, which makes the ball circulation more difficult.”
The El Larguero collaborator points out that this change in the system does not benefit Vinicius at all because it does not provide him with good situations to pick up the ball: “He does not play open most of the time. Many times he receives from his back or is between the lines, which is not his position ideal. And the second thing is that, when he has the opportunity to receive, by not having a forward next to him, the help or support does not come easily.” Therefore, Álvaro Benito points out that Vinicius is less Vinicius because of the structure of the team: “It is a logical issue of what his characteristics are and that last year he had a forward to anchor the two center backs.” During these last years, the player took advantage of this situation to face one-on-one situations in which he generally emerged victorious: “He relied a lot on Karim and now he has no one inside. There is no one in the central zone”.
For Alvaro Benito, the decline of Vinicius and Rodrygo can be attributed to the absence of Karim Benzema’s influence and the shift in Real Madrid’s playing style. These factors have disrupted their ability to find goal-scoring opportunities and have left them performing below their expected levels. While Real Madrid remains competitive, addressing these issues is essential to restore their attacking prowess and maintain their success in the long term. As Álvaro Benito stated, “It could be one of the causes,” and it’s crucial for the team to find solutions to these challenges.