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The victory of Real Madrid in Istanbul gave air to Zidane and the players, but it also served to Rodrygo Goes surprise everyone and Fede Valverde be confirmed in the eyes of all Europe. It was the two great news of a match in which the objective was achieved, but that did not help resolve the doubts about a Madrid that ended up forgiving and suffering before the Galatasaray.
Fede Valverde left his cover letter in the top continental competition: the Champions League. The Uruguayan added another outstanding performance after his noted absence against Mallorca, a game that ended with the white defeat and in which he missed the deployment of Valverde through the center of the field. Zidane learned the lesson and re-aligned his starting jewel in Turkey.
Madrid relied on Valverde both in defense and attack. It was spectacular in both phases of the game. Recovering balls with forcefulness and with responsibility in the pressure and going out to the attack with verticality thanks to its impressive driving and its stride. He has power and knows how to associate with his teammates. A total or “modern” footballer, as Zidane defined him weeks ago.
His role was so important that Zidane replaced him in the absence of 20 minutes and the team noticed him drastically. His qualities have dazzled the French technician, who seems to have reserved a place for him in his eleven headline. It seems difficult for someone to arrive and move him from the privileged position in which he is now in this Madrid and that is the best news in a center of the field that fell short last summer.
No one moves him from eleven
Zidane has hit the key with Valverde. It brings the balance that Real Madrid lacked at the beginning of the season and puts the gas that was missed last year. Attached to the great moment through which it crosses Toni Kroos and that Casemiro more important than ever, Zidane has found his center of the field. That, therefore, has consequences for the rest of the players, victims of the Valverde explosion.
The first one is Modric. The Croatian is injured and has been accusing physical problems for the entire course. At 34 years old, it is obvious that he needs more rest than the rest of his teammates and in Madrid they have been looking for a replacement before the increasingly close departure of their '10'. Now he sees his place at eleven once his injury comes out.
Who until not many weeks ago was in charge of occupying the site of Modric, when this was not, was James Rodriguez. The Colombian started well, but has gradually lost prominence to the point of being behind Valverde. It is not part of the main Zidane plan, just like Isco, who is in the lowest zone of the white rotation in the center of the field. Fede Valverde has become a pleasant surprise for Zidane and Real Madrid, but also a 'problem' for his teammates.
(More information: Real Madrid gives Zidane a break with a worked victory against Galatasaray in the Champions League)