Real Madrid News
Camavinga talks Real Madrid stint, World Cup call-up, substitute role, favourite position
Eduardo Camavinga sat down with GOAL Spain to express his views on the World Cup, along with his status in the Real Madrid team. He also talked about his desire to become a more prominent member of the club’s first-team plans.
The young midfielder joined Real Madrid last year but has largely had to make do with a substitute role, even though he made an impression in some important matches for Los Blancos especially in the final phase of the UEFA Champions League last season.
Called up to the French national team for the FIFA World Cup 2022, the 20-year-old’s inclusion was not entirely expected. But the injuries to N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba helped his case as he earned a spot in Didier Deschamps’ plans.
Camavinga’s interview comes just before the upcoming Tunisia game, where he is expected to start for a French team that have already sealed qualification for the Round of 16. Here are excerpts from his interview.
On being selected for World Cup squad: “No, I wouldn’t say I was surprised, but I did have my doubts. I didn’t really know if they were going to select me. But I had confidence. Of course, there were people who weren’t there and that allowed me to come back here. And when my name appeared on the list, I was very happy.”
On whether he is a ‘luxury substitute’: “When you’re a footballer, you want to play every game. I don’t want to say it’s annoying, but you have to be patient. I don’t want to have this status all my life. You have to realize that there are a lot of people ahead of me. I have to learn from them and then my time will come”.
On how to tackle the situation: “Simply, with performances on the field that lead me to start. Being versatile is necessarily an advantage. When you are versatile, you have more possibilities to play because you can play in more positions.”
On being patient: “There is a reality at Real Madrid: there are good players ahead of me. I can’t say I like it because being on the bench is not pleasant either. You have to be patient”.
On talks of him being better coming on from the bench: “I don’t really have an explanation. When I arrive, I don’t necessarily have time to think about what I’m going to do, I give my best to help the team. It’s true that last year I helped a lot as a substitute, I know that.”
On whether playing for Real Madrid helps to compete in the World Cup: “Our history in the Champions League has been made up of difficult games, with games we have won at the last minute.
“I think that can help me because I know that if we lose at a given moment, we must not give up. And that you can turn around to the mountains anytime, even if you lose 90+2. That was the lesson of our European triumph last year.”
On the Manchester City game last season: “When I came in, we were at a disadvantage and I managed to be decisive. It must be one of my best games.
“It’s true, but people are going to base themselves on those games and they’re not going to watch the ones I played before. But, of course, the game against City is one of my best games since I’ve been at Real Madrid. I’ve rewatched some of the plays, I still get chills when I see them.”
On the Chelsea game: “It was the same as against City. We were losing and we felt that gain of power after scoring the goal and then we followed it. For my part, I had an extra boost of motivation because at that moment we were out. And the fact that we came back, we gave it our all and scored quickly, it gave us more energy”.
On favourite role and style of play: “As a No. 6 in front of the defence. Afterwards, you can’t have everything and you have to adapt. My style of play is to recover many balls, play forward, dribble, take risks and win duels.”
On players he can learn from at Real Madrid: “I can play in several positions, so I am inspired by several players. Casemiro won many defensive duels. Luka Modric is also capable of winning defensive and offensive duels, he has eyesight, and vision of the game. Kroos is important in the game with his incredible passing quality”.
On being versatile: “Yes, it’s true. I have qualities that allow me to play in different positions, so I would say that it is still an advantage. As I said, being versatile is an advantage, because you have more opportunities to be on the pitch.
“If there’s a free spot, you can play in it, so that’s an advantage. You have to have more strings to your bow to be able to get as much playing time as possible.”
On how to nail down the number six role: “I think I have to be more stable defensively and spread out less.”
On discussions with Deschamps about playing his preferred role: “No, I haven’t had any discussions with him yet and I will accept whatever comes my way. You have to make yourself available to the group, there are managers who are there and it’s important that you keep your place. After that I will play wherever the coach puts me.”
Real Madrid News
Real Madrid identify two positions that need strengthening in the summer – report
According to reports from Mario Cortegana (h/t Madrid Zone), Real Madrid have two objectives for the upcoming summer transfer window. The centre-forward and the right-wing position are seen as the two positions to be reinforced but no decision has been made yet about making a move.
This comes over and above the Merengues’ pre-existing need for new midfielders and full-backs in the coming windows.
At first sight, it may appear that Los Blancos are well stacked in the final third. In Vinicius Jr, Karim Benzema and Rodrygo Goes, they have three starting quality players who are well-complemented by the likes of Marco Asensio and Federico Valverde.
Yet, Vinicius is the only player on the aforementioned list who can boast of a starting role in a fixed position for at least the next decade.
There is worry over the centre-forward role considering Benzema’s lack of form and fitness throughout the current campaign. With the Ballon d’Or winner already 35, the club need a young reinforcement soon which is evident with the team’s struggle for goals this term.
Los Blancos have already invested heavily in Endrick in this regard. However, that has not stopped them from following established options like Dusan Vlahovic and Erling Haaland as their Brazilian wonderkid will not arrive until 2024.
The right wing is also understaffed despite the presence of young Rodrygo and Fede Valverde. The duo have no dearth of talent but have not managed to click on the wing as well as the manager would have liked.
Thus, it remains to be seen as to who the club targets to strengthen the wing and aim to stretch the play. Given the heavy investment planned for Jude Bellingham, a low-cost option is likely to be considered.