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Real Madrid World Cup Spotlight: Tchouameni, Camavinga stand out in defeat

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Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

The final round of the group stages of the FIFA World Cup 2022 can be described as nothing short of an enthralling film of endless twists and turns. With two games kicking off simultaneously to maintain equality, a team’s qualification often boils downs to the final minute and the last kick.

Wednesday was a day with no shortage of drama as some of the tournament favourites including France and Argentina took to the field in massive games. It saw upsets, and nail-biting finishes as three more teams confirmed their progression to the knockouts.

The day began with the Group D games kicking off early. Denmark faced Australia in a must-win game and dominated the proceedings throughout. Despite having the better chances, they went down by one goal owing to a moment of magic by Mathew Leckie.

France took on Tunisia in a game of little value, yet massive in terms of the result. Didier Deschamps’ men went a goal down in the 58th minute when Wahbi Khazri got the better of Steve Mandanda. Antoine Griezmann scored a dramatic equaliser in the final second of the game only for it to be ruled out by VAR.

Group C then saw its games begin with all four teams in contention for a spot in the next round. Mexico got the better of Saudi Arabia and were within touching distance of the target but fell short on goal difference by a single game.

Both Argentina and Poland qualified in the other game, but it was the Argentines who outclassed their opponents on the night. Lionel Messi’s side walked away with a 2-0 win following a strong performance.

Madrid Universal brings you an overview of the performances of Real Madrid players on Wednesday.

Eduardo Camavinga (vs Tunisia)

Camavinga made his FIFA World Cup debut against Tunisia as the manager opted to make wholesale rotations for the final group stage game. With the top spot almost sealed before kickoff, the team had nothing to lose and Camavinga started at left-back.

Though the French outfit fell to a shocking 1-0 defeat to Tunisia, the Real Madrid youngster dished out a fine performance. He played the entire ninety minutes and was one of the team’s best players.

With six clearances, three interceptions and a whopping 11 tackles, he worked hard at the back and held the fort. Further, he won 16 of his 22 attempted ground duels and 66% of aerial duels. 

While Tunisia did get into spaces behind him at times, there is no doubt that the Real Madrid youngster left a strong impression on Didier Deschamps and will see more playing time in games to come.

Aurelien Tchouameni (vs Tunisia)

Like his compatriot, Tchouameni played the entire 90 minutes and led the French midfield from the front. He recorded north of 100 touches with a pass-completion rate of 96%. He also completed 100% of his long balls and had four defensive actions.

He seemed to be lacking creativity at times as France tried to create chances late in the game. Yet, he was far better than his teammates like Youssouf Fofana and Jordan Veretout who struggled on multiple fronts.

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MU Shorts

Three Real Madrid players whose roles will change with Mbappe’s arrival

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Kylian Mbappe’s move from PSG to Real Madrid will be the headline of the summer irrespective of what transpires in the weeks to come.

After years of running a long-standing soap opera, the player finally secured his dream move. Now officially announced, Carlo Ancelotti and Co. can begin incorporating the star into their plans for next season.

His arrival, however, will bring with it an inevitable set of changes to the setup that won Real Madrid the Champions League last season.

In the process, several Real Madrid stars will be made to alter their roles and possibly even positions on the field to accommodate the World Cup winner.

Here are three players who will see a complete change in role after Mbappe’s signing. 

Vinicius Jr.

Vinicius will have to juggle his role with Mbappe. (Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images)

At this point, it is well established that Vinicius Jr. is one of, if not the best left-winger in world football. The Brazilian’s influence on Real Madrid’s results has only amplified exponentially in recent years. He is even the favourite to take home the Ballon d’Or after a stellar last season.

Come August, however, Vinicius will ironically find his own place in the team in jeopardy. Carlo Ancelotti’s plan will indeed be to stick with the Brazilian on the wing and deploy Kylian Mbappe as the number nine for Real Madrid next season.

Given that the Frenchman is best placed on the left, however, it is highly possible that the duo are made to swap roles with regularity.

In short, Vinicius’ position next season will largely depend on Mbappe’s adaptation. Should the new signing struggle to adapt, the Brazilian superstar could be the one to face the brunt.

Jude Bellingham

Bellingham will likely play in a deeper position. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Jude Bellingham enjoyed a stunning first season with Real Madrid, breaking records for fun and establishing himself as an elite superstar.

His role, however, will undoubtedly see a major transformation next season. After all, Carlo Ancelotti is planning a change in formation and the attacking midfield role in the 4-4-2 diamond formation will no longer be his to claim.

Likely back in a 4-3-3, Los Blancos will be well covered in the final third and Bellingham will be forced to take a step back. He will likely join forces with Aurelien Tchouameni and Federico Valverde in the proper midfield and thus play a deeper role for the men in white.

Rodrygo Goes

Rodrygo will have to settle for a place on the right flank. (Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images)

It is clear at this point that Rodrygo is the worst hit by Mbappe’s arrival for the youngster is now on the edge.

Rodrygo shone brightly playing on the left flank towards the end of the last season. But the Brazilian now has no chance of seeing minutes in his niche given the presence of two superior players ahead of him in the pecking order.

Mbappe’s arrival also means that Rodrygo will have no option but to play as a right-winger, a position in which he has not convinced much in recent times.

To rub salt into his wounds, he will also be forced to take up a more significant defensive role as the other two players in attack will contribute minimally to the press. It thus remains to be seen if the youngster can hold onto his place as a starter or struggle under the pressure. 

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