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Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester City: Player Ratings

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The glorious chimes of the UEFA Champions League anthem echoed around the Santiago Bernabeu for one final time this season on Tuesday night.

Indeed, it was just the first leg of the semifinal of the competition. Yet, one knew that irrespective of the result, it would be the team’s final European game at home in 2022-23.

The prospect of Real Madrid and Manchester City facing off has largely been talked of as the two best teams in the world locking horns. The game on Tuesday did not disappoint.

Vinicius Jr opened the scoring in the first half but it was the English side who maintained complete control for most of the game. The visitors stole level in the second half through Kevin de Bruyne to take home a 1-1 scoreline with everything to play for.

Madrid Universal brings you the player ratings from Real Madrid vs Manchester City.

Thibaut Courtois: 7.5

The Belgian goalkeeper was always going to have a busy day at the office going up against a team featuring the likes of Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne. Yet, he shone against Pep Guardiola’s side.

Courtois made four saves on the night including two from inside the box and one remembers his big save against De Bruyne’s shot early in the second half as perhaps his biggest contribution. However, there was nothing he could do against the Belgian’s rocket equaliser later in the half.

Daniel Carvajal: 6.5

The Spaniard was minimally involved in the proceedings and did not enjoy his best in the goal third. Put up a brave face against Jack Grealish but will have to do far better in the second leg.

Antonio Rudiger: 7

With Eder Militao suspended on the night, the German took over as the team’s vocal leader in defence. Rudiger played the 90 minutes defending the crest with his everything and was a big part of the reason why Haaland was kept silent on the night.

David Alaba: 7.5

The German was pushed to the limit by Manchester City’s dynamic forward line but came up toe-to-toe in every situation. Alaba put his body on the line to deny Haaland at times at Santiago Bernabeu and proved why his return to the squad was a massive moment.

Eduardo Camavinga: 8

The Frenchman rightfully deserved to fight out the game against Guardiola’s side in midfield alongside the other greats in the business. However, Camavinga started the game at left-back and was once again forced to play in a foreign role.

He did exceedingly well to keep Bernardo Silva under control at Santiago Bernabeu by coming on top in the 50-50 duels. Moreover, Camavinga was integral in the buildup in the final third and even got an assist to his name.

Federico Valverde: 8

The Uruguayan delivered a top-notch performance with no flashy moments. Immaculate distribution, a perfect record in duels won and a constant threat with off-the-ball moments- Valverde’s display had it all.

Toni Kroos: 8.5

The German started as the pivot against Manchester City as called by many pundits. Through the 90 minutes, Kroos was Real Madrid’s best and most important player by some distance.

He completed close to 95% of his passes on the night, a whopping nine defensive actions and orchestrated the play with his composed distribution.

Luka Modric: 7.5

The Croatian risked relapse with his start against the Premier League champions. Yet, one could understand his decision considering the level of opposition that stared Real Madrid in the eye.

Modric’s experience was invaluable on the night against the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan. In fact, it was the veteran who pressed the team’s engine in the second half during Los Blancos’ period of pressure.

Rodrygo Goes: 6.5

The youngster did not have as much presence in the final third as he did in the cup final. Rodrygo tried to be creative with his movements and open up spaces for his teammates but appeared to meet his match in City’s defence.

Karim Benzema: 6

The Frenchman was underwhelming against the Premier League side and failed to register a single shot on target on the night. Benzema was far from clinical last night and could not make anything of the team’s prolonged spell of pressure in the second half.

Vinicius Jr: 9

The young protege was the difference maker at Santiago Bernabeu and belonged at the heart of every Real Madrid counter-attack.

Vini Jr opened the scoring from outside the box in just the 36th minute. The move began with a combination sequence between the Brazilian and Camavinga before Vinicius sent a rocket into the top right corner.

SUBSTITUTES:

Marco Asensio: 6

Hardly involved after coming on but did not put a wrong foot or make any glaring errors.

Aurelien Tchouameni: 7

Replaced Kroos in the 84th minute and came close to scoring a wonder goal in the penultimate minute.

Nacho Fernandez: NA

Came on for the closing minutes. Does not warrant a rating.

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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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