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Real Madrid World Cup Spotlight: Tchouameni solid as France advance to the quarter-finals

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Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

The first two teams to book their slots in the FIFA World Cup were Argentina and The Netherlands as they got the better of Australia and the United States respectively. France were in action if the second day of the Round of 16 to book their place in the next round and did so with an explosive win against Poland.

Didier Deschamps’ side showed the world their ruthless attack last night and made a strong case for defending their title for the second successive edition. 

Oliver Giroud opened the scoring for Les Bleus and in the process, became France’s all-time highest international goalscorer. The second goal came off a quick and accurate counter-attack via Kylian Mbappe before the PSG star added a third in extra time. Poland’s only consolation came off a Robert Lewandowski penalty late into stoppage time.

Meanwhile, England took on Senegal in the late-night encounter and put their name in the quarterfinal against France later this week. Jordan Henderson, Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane were on point for the Englishmen, but it was young Jude Bellingham that pulled the string from the midfield.

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

Aurelien Tchouameni (France vs Poland)

The absences of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante opened the doors for Aurelien Tchouameni to work his magic for the French National Team, and the youngster is not disappointing. While his performance against Poland in the Round of 16 was not at his frightening best, he dished out a solid display with few mistakes and plenty of positives.

On a night when Mbappe and Giroud stole the headlines, the Real Madrid ace did the hard work behind the scenes. His firm shot on goal in the first half was enough to test but not beat Wojciech Szczesny. He also gave a perfectly weighted ball over the top for Antoine Griezmann that threatened to open the scoring for Les Bleus

Poland tried to put pressure on France in the second half, stringing together passes and winning the ball back with urgency. However, Tchouameni helped restrict the Polish attack with his quick presence of mind time and time again and ensured that their pressure did not translate to opportunities.

The Real Madrid starlet was controversially booked in the first half for a rather soft foul but carried on for over sixty minutes with careful, yet uncompromised quality of play.

He made one interception, won three duels and made one key pass against Poland. Further, he completed 65 passes and recorded a completion rate of around 90%. Eventually, Deschamps decided to take off the midfielder in the 66th minute out of caution as he was already on a yellow card.

Eduardo Camavinga (France vs Poland)

The youngster was given a chance in France’s final group-stage game against Tunisia and made a decent impression despite playing as a makeshift left-back. However, given the stakes of the tournament and that every game is a knockout here on, Deschamps opted to keep the Real Madrid man on the bench against Poland.

It will be difficult for Camavinga to see minutes from here on given the situation. No doubt, the experience with the National Team will go a long way in nurturing his development ahead of what could be a long and successful career in the International setup.

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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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