Federico Valverde: Real Madrid superstar in the making

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 23: Fede Valverde of Real Madrid controls the ball during the Group G match of the UEFA Champions League between Real Madrid and Viktoria Plzen at Bernabeu on October 23, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

The El Clasico may have come to a 0-0 draw in the end, but what we saw was a performance for the ages, and it was from none other than Federico Valverde. The Uruguayan youngster put in a domineering performance that caught the attention of ‘futbolistas’ all over. He did it again yesterday! When the opposition manager is congratulating you for your performance, you know you’ve been outstanding.

Maturity and intelligence beyond his years

“Valverde won the final; it was the most important piece of play. It was probably going to be a goal. I told him that he did what he had to do at that moment.”

Diego Simeone on Valverde’s cynical challenge

Once again on the big stage. Supercopa de Espana final against Atletico Madrid. Alvaro Morata is clean through on goal 1 on 1 with the keeper, minutes away from penalties. If he gets past Courtois you expect a goal. But the 21 year old demonstrated his elite mentality. He sprinted and persevered so late in the game, caught up with the striker and took him down with a tactical foul, getting sent off in the process. The game goes to penalties and Los Blancos take victory in the Madrid derby. Whether you agree with the challenge or not, the 21 year old was the hero behind the victory. Intelligent and a real team player.

Who’d have thought that a loan spell during Espanyol’s relegation season could propel a career quite as much as it has with Valverde. When he returned to Madrid, manager Julen Lopetegui was impressed. He was straight in the first team. With Luka Modric and Toni Kroos not getting any younger, Madrid needed to look further ahead than their demand for instant success. They did.

Federico Valverde in El Clasico for Real Madrid

So far this season, Valverde has been on fire. Few gave notice of him to be honest. It took until his Kroos-esque side footed finish in Madrid’s 4-0 win over Eibar for people to wake up to his talent. At only 21, he already oozes the class of a well-seasoned central midfielder; averaging 1.5 key passes in the UEFA Champions League this season. Not bad. At 6ft tall, a surprising burst of pace enables Federico Valverde to glide past players, using his wiry frame to hold defenders off and create space. He really is a generational talent.

Federico Valverde – Style of Play

Extremely powerful with and without the ball, Valverde’s desire to drive forward and link up with wide players gives him a likeness to Aaron Ramsey. However, his ability to sit deep and spray balls with immense power and precision gives him unlimited potential and versatility in any midfield role. He didn’t cost £80m and he perhaps doesn’t draw crowds quite like a Cristiano Ronaldo, but Federico Valverde is a superstar of his own. Watch out.

Thinking about his future, Liverpool would be the perfect team for Valverde. His engine and aggression in the press, Jürgen Klopp HAS to make the Uruguayan his number one priority. Nevertheless, with Federico Valverde seemingly happy in Madrid, can he kick on and become the cornerstone of a future ‘Galacticos’? Only time will tell…

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