Tuesday, 30 May, 2023

Camavinga’s growing impact clear as Madrid visit Man City

Camavinga’s growing impact clear as Madrid visit Man City

Real Madrid hearts were in mouths when Eduardo Camavinga limped off against Getafe in La Liga on Saturday, ahead of their Champions League showdown with Manchester City.

The 20-year-old French midfielder has become a key figure for Carlo Ancelotti's reigning European champion and an injury would have been a big setback for the semi-final second leg at the Etihad on Wednesday.

Ancelotti soothed Madrid fears in his post game news conference, saying Camavinga twisted his knee but it would heal quickly and was not a worry.

Spanish media reports since have reflected that Camavinga will be fit, with the tie on a knife edge after the first leg finished 1-1 last Tuesday.

Camavinga played a key role in Vinicius Junior's brilliant strike in that game, charging up the pitch from left-back to help Madrid take the lead in the first half.

The Frenchman exchanged passes with Luka Modric to break free of City's press and carried the ball down to the other end, before feeding his Brazilian team-mate.

However Camavinga was also partly to blame for City's equaliser, with his pass intercepted before Kevin De Bruyne hammered home.

"The most important thing is to help the team, and today I did that again, but no, it still isn't my position," he said, after helping Madrid see off Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Ancelotti lately in big games has simply tried to get his best 11 players onto the pitch in his line-ups, which has resulted in Toni Kroos playing in holding midfield, and Camavinga used at left-back.

Even that is not Camavinga's best position, having operated further forward in midfield at Rennes, but Modric and Fede Valverde are holding those spots down in the key games.

Last season Camavinga was important for Madrid as they clinched their record-extending 14th Champions League title, but mainly as a substitute in the final phases of games.

Man City may view Camavinga as Madrid's weak link after his first-leg mistake, but he also emerged with the most tackles made and duels won, keeping Bernardo Silva quiet.

If Pep Guardiola's side target him, Camavinga has shown he can rise to the challenge.