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Real Madrid 1-1 Girona: Player Ratings

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid dropped points for the second time in as many games at the Bernabeu on Sunday evening. The men in white were expected to run away with the game against Girona and return to winning ways after the midweek defeat. Yet, it turns out that the weekends clash just smeared salt onto their wounds.

Vinicius Jr gave his team the lead in the 70th minute but Girona struck back from the penalty spot through Christian Stuani ten minutes later. The game had no dearth of drama, with several refereeing decisions going against the hosts in the closing minutes.

Despite the draw, Real Madrid gold onto the first spot on the La Liga standings but now have just a slender one-point lead over Barcelona. Madrid Universal brings you the player ratings from Real Madrid’s draw against Girona.

Thibaut Courtois: 8

The Belgian is not just back to business but back in form in just his third game after his return. Was not called into action in the first half but made a crucial save after the hour mark to deny Valery Fernandez in a one vs one duel.

Daniel Carvajal: 6.5

A relatively solid performance from the veteran right-back. Took on Girona’s most dangerous player Valery head-to-head on the right side and did well to limit the play down his flank. Also created two chances and had one shot on goal.

Antonio Rudiger: 6.5

Flawless in distribution, strong and reliable in defence. Made three clearances and six recoveries in defence, winning one ground duel and 100% of his attempted aerial duels on the night.

David Alaba: 6.5

Formed a formidable combination with Rudiger and made seven defensive interventions in 90 minutes. No flamboyant moments but also did not put a foot wrong.

Ferland Mendy: 6.5

Very little contribution in the final third once again, but was rock-solid in defence. Made seven recoveries, one headed clearance and two clearances to keep Yan Couto at bay. Also won 100% of his duels.

Luka Modric: 7.5

A magical night for the Croatian international, providing a whopping five key passes on the night. He was at the centre of every Real Madrid attack, orchestrating the team’s movement and the ball progression.

Eduardo Camavinga: 6.5

Played as the defensive midfielder on the night after Aurelien Tchouameni faced muscular discomfort ahead of kickoff. The youngster did well to adjust to a relatively new role and completed eight defensive actions in his 61 minutes. Eventually came off for Marco Asensio.

Toni Kroos: 4

Kroos endured a frustrating night but was not short in quality. He recorded 108 touches against Girona with an accuracy of 96%. Further, he made two key passes and completed ten long balls. However, the German lunged into two unnecessary poor challenges out of pure frustration and eventually saw the red card.

Federico Valverde: 7.5

Once again a phenomenal display. Coming back from injury, he recorded three shots on the night, made two key passes and created one big chance.

His biggest contribution on the night came in the form of a lovely cross-field pass to Vinicius Jr across the face of the goal to pioneer Los Blancos’ opening goal.

Rodrygo: 6.5

Started the game as a centre-forward in Karim Benzema’s absence. While he could not completely fill the void left by the Frenchman, Rodrygo was a constant threat to the goal and tested Gazzaniga time and time again.

Had three shots on target and missed two glaringly clear chances. Scored one goal in the dying minutes but had it ruled out because he kicked it from the goalkeeper’s hand.

Vinicius Jr: 8.5

Was a thorn in the feet of the visitors throughout the game, getting under their skin for his antics both on and off the ball. Vinicius danced past the helpless Girona defence repeatedly and was the key to unlocking the tight defence.

Eventually got onto the end of Valverde’s cross to score the team’s opening goal and continued to create threats even after the visitors’ equaliser.

SUBSTITUTIONS:

Marco Asensio: 5

Missed a clear chance to double Real Madrid’s lead just minutes after Vinicius’ goal. Later gave away a penalty that brought Girona back into the game.

Eder Militao: N/A

Came on in the 87th minute, and does not warrant a rating.

Mariano: 7

Made only one accurate pass in 13 minutes but created a big chance that led to Rodrygo’s disallowed goal. No other significant contribution.

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Features

Five players who will be fixed starters for Real Madrid next season

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Following a successful campaign, Real Madrid are poised for significant changes in their roster due to a combination of player arrivals and departures.

The responsibility of blending new faces with established stars will fall to coach Carlo Ancelotti and his staff as they aim to maintain the club’s competitive edge domestically and in Europe.

And to predict the team’s probable strategy and performance amidst these changes, it is imperative to identify the key players who will be constant starters.

Kylian Mbappe

The new talisman. (Photo by ROMAIN PERROCHEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

With Real Madrid no longer viewing Mbappe through rose-tinted lenses and finally being able to dress him in the royal white jersey, the Frenchman is expected to be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Owing to his instinctive nature to find the back of the net, he is poised to be paired alongside Vinicius Jr. in attack.

Last season, the 2018 World Cup winner scored a whopping 44 goals in all competitions. Thus Real Madrid will be banking heavily on Mbappe’s ability to ask questions of opposition defenders in the final third.

It is being said that Mbappe is all set to wear the iconic number 9 jersey at Real Madrid, which is indicative of the role he will play, as a focal striker.

Vinicius Jr.

The main man at Real Madrid. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The Brazilian is in pole position to win the Ballon d’Or this year, and looking back on his season with Real Madrid, it is easy to see why.

Despite losing Karim Benzema, his usual partner in crime over the past few years, Vinicius performed remarkably well in Ancelotti’s new system.

Relentlessly taking on defenders, arriving into space, scoring goals, and stepping up in the biggest of moments, he was one of Real Madrid’s major lynchpins throughout the season as they lifted a historic double.

Vinicius impressively racked up 24 goals last season, and given his importance to the team, the likelihood of him not maintaining a starting role next season is nearly nonexistent.

Jude Bellingham

Real Madrid Fans’ Player of the Season. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Defying all expectations in his debut season, Jude Bellingham established himself as a key player for Real Madrid, demonstrating exceptional versatility, and maturity far beyond his years.

Although the Englishman’s performances wavered in the final stretch of the season, Bellingham’s contributions ensured Los Blancos were able to compete in the Champions League and especially La Liga.

In addition to scoring 23 goals in all competitions, he has constantly been a beacon of reliability in midfield and has proven to be the voice of reason on the pitch.

There have been murmurs about Bellingham potentially being berthed deeper next season as Real Madrid intends to use him as Kroos’ replacement. However, given his versatility, he is expected to be a crucial player wherever he plays.

Antonio Rudiger

A mainstay at the back. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Rudiger is one of the major reasons Real Madrid managed to successfully disguise their injury crisis. Despite players falling like dominos in the back-line, the German stood resolutely as a dependable figure for most of the campaign, arguably enjoying one of his best seasons.

Expertly anticipating opposition strikers’ movements, he leaps forward to thwart attacks before they begin. Moreover, thanks to his large stature and incredible recovery pace, he is able to cover distances behind.

Reports have mentioned that Carlo Ancelotti views him as a crucial component of the squad and potential arrivals, such as those of Leny Yoro and Rafa Marin, in the back-line are unlikely to devalue his presence.

Thibaut Courtois

Back like he was never gone. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

In spite of spending more than half of the campaign on the sidelines recovering from an ACL and MCL injury, Courtois is worth his weight in gold for Real Madrid.

He performed admirably in the final few games of the season and did no wrong against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final.

While Andriy Lunin made up for his absence with flying colours, he is placed below Courtois in the pecking order for now, which also has made the Ukrainian lean towards an exit.

The fact that Lunin, after his sublime season, stands no chance of dethroning Courtois between the sticks is a testament to how much the club appreciates the Belgian. Even at the age of 32, the Belgian keeper is anticipated to retain an important role in the team.

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