Carving out a niche in Real Madrid’s midfield without the imponderable is an almost impossible task. We have to unseat Casemiro, Kroos and Modric and also skip Valverde’s turn. But on the visit to Osasuna the stars aligned. None of the three were there. Casemiro and Modric did not travel and Ancelotti initially rested Kroos by leaving him on the bench. To accompany Valverde, the Italian coach placed his trust in Camavinga and Ceballos and both corresponded to an excellent level, showing that Carletto has two other guaranteed replacements for the core. A plan B worthy of a team A.
Camavinga, 19, had been enjoying the favor of the Madrid coach with some frequency. The one in Pamplona was his 13er party as starter. He starts one in four of the 48 games that the Whites have played this season. In several of them the Frenchman was weighed down by his youthful excess of ardor, seeing early yellow cards that forced Ancelotti to replace him prematurely so as not to risk the team keeping ten. He happened to him against Espanyol, Osasuna himself at the Bernabéu or last Sunday against Sevilla at Pizjuán. In El Sadar he was reprimanded four minutes into the match for a tackle on Budimir, but that condition only put him ahead of a test that he successfully passed. He did not commit any more fouls, received three and recovered four balls.
In the 74 minutes he played in Pamplona, Camavinga also displayed a passing precision worthy of Toni Kroos himself: Had six long passes and had the team’s best completion rate on his deliveries. He missed only 4 of the 67 passes he attempted: 94% accuracy. He has achieved something that seemed complicated: that Madrid does not miss Casemiro when he is not there. Madrid have won the six games in which the Brazilian has not participated this season. One of those absences in a key match, against Athletic in the League match at San Mamés, was another of Camavinga’s great performances.
Ceballos, 25, did not disappoint either, who had the opportunity so announced by Ancelotti. The coach had insisted that, once recovered from his injury, the Betis youth squad was going to be important in the team. Until the visit to Osasuna, that had not translated into minutes. The utrerano only added 104 minutes spread over eleven games, all coming from the bench. The longest performance of his had been the half hour of the extension of the Cup in Elche. Despite everything, Ancelotti continued to praise him publicly and recognized that he was being unfair to him by not rewarding him with minutes for the work he saw him do in training.
In El Sadar he not only participated in the creation of the game (he gave 63 good passes, like Camavinga, but Dani tried one more) but also He was incisive in the white attack. He attempted six shots and was involved in Madrid’s first two goals.. In the rehearsed play that produced the 0-1 he put the center into the area that allowed Benzema to assist Alaba. And at 1-2 he was the author of the shot that Sergio Herrera rejected and enabled Asensio to finish off at will.
The Spanish international, whose contract ends in 2023, was one of the players who had the most ballots to leave this summer. Now, with more opportunities and the insistent support of his coach, he can rethink his future which seemed, again, tinted verdiblanco.