Chelsea FC v Real Madrid – Quarter Final Leg One – UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid are enjoying a good season domestically and on the continental scene this term. Los Blancos have bounced back from a disappointing 2020-21 to hold an unassailable lead atop La Liga. They have also reached the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League for a second successive season after knocking out holders Chelsea.
Carlo Ancelotti has improved results at Real Madrid since his appointment
Since the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as the club’s manager, there has been a marked improvement in the club’s performance. This improvement has been as a result of players rising to the occasion at various points in the season. Led by captain Karim Benzema, these players have contributed a great deal to the club’s success in 2022.
Without further ado, here is a list of five players who have shown marked improvement for Real Madrid in 2022.
Rodrygo scored a brilliant goal v Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two – UEFA Champions League
Brazilian winger Rodrygo has matured greatly in the 2021-22 season, especially in the second half of the season. Having joined the club in 2019 from Santos in a big-money move, the youngster has started to show himself more. Rodrygo had struggled to reach the level of performance required to maintain a starting berth at Santiago Bernabeu.
The Brazilian youngster has, however, become a more reliable player for Los Blancos since the turn of the year. The 21-year-old winger scored the goal that turned their Champions League quarterfinal tie against Chelsea with his first chance after coming off the bench. He also contributed a goal and assist off the bench for Real Madrid as they came back from two goals down to defeat Sevilla 3-2 in La Liga.
Rodrygo was instrumental in Real Madrid’s Supercopa de Espana win in 2022. His form for the club since the turn of the year has seen him establish himself as a good option to have for Los Blancos in attack. The youngster also scored his first goal for Brazil’s Seleçao this year.
#4 Eduardo Camavinga
Camavinga on the ball v FC Sheriff: Group D – UEFA Champions League
It was quite rare to see an 18-year-old signed for €30 million regarded as a bargain. This is the case with French teenager Eduardo Camavinga. The former Rennes youngster has hit the ground running for Real Madrid since joining the club.
Camavinga has been an excellent signing for Los Blancos as he has slotted seamlessly into their midfield. With their regular midfielders Toni Kroos and Luka Modric aging, Camavinga has shown that he can be relied upon after they leave. Now 19, Camavinga has had a great impact on the club’s title aspirations in the Champions League.
When the side were in trouble in their Champions League second leg ties against PSG and Chelsea, the introduction of Camavinga off the bench was a game-changer. Both times, he brought his youthful energy to the midfield and helped his side grind out wins. He has played 15 times for his club so far in 2022.
#3 Nacho Fernandez
Nacho in action versus Paris Saint-Germain: Round Of Sixteen Leg Two – UEFA Champions League
After the exit of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane last season, Real Madrid turned to one of their most senior defenders for leadership – 32-year-old Nacho Fernandez. He has been impressive for Los Blancos whenever given the chance.
Nacho has been a trusted lieutenant for Carlo Ancelotti during his time as Real Madrid manager. The Spaniard has played across all four positions in defence for Los Blancos this season, underlining his importance and versatility. The defender has 17 appearances for the club in 2022. He scored after coming off the bench in their last win over Sevilla in La Liga.
With Marcelo poised to leave the club at the end of the season, Nacho will become the side’s most senior defender in the summer. The 32-year-old will be relied upon by Ancelotti for his quality and versatility.
#2 Federico Valverde
Valverde in action vs Chelsea FC Quarter Final Leg Two – UEFA Champions League
Uruguayan midfielder Federico Valverde has been a major shining light for Real Madrid since the turn of the year. The midfield maestro has managed to remain relevant for Los Blancos despite their midfield depth.
Valverde is known for his tireless running and stamina. The 23-year-old has made 19 appearances for the club in all competitions this year. The Uruguay midfielder was instrumental in his side’s Champions League triumph over Chelsea as they reached the semifinals of the competition.
Valverde is a player Real Madrid can count on for the long run. Still only 23, the midfielder has a release clause of €1 billion in his contract that will expire in 2027.
#1 Eder Militao
Militao celebrates against Sevilla FC – La Liga Santander
Eyebrows were raised in 2021 when Real Madrid failed to replace the outgoing defenders Varane and Ramos. The club preferred to trust the defenders that were in its ranks, and one of them was Eder Militao.
Brazilian defender Militao joined Real Madrid from FC Porto in 2019 for €50 million, the side’s biggest outlay on a defender. Militao initially struggled after his arrival at the club but has overcome his struggles. Alongside David Alaba, the 24-year-old has formed a potential title-winning defence.
In 2022, Militao has only missed three games for Real Madrid. The former Sao Paulo man has become one of La Liga’s finest defenders and will be looking to maintain this form.