Thursday, December 2

Camavinga leaves the script


His life and that of his family has not exactly been a bed of roses. He has gone through many thorny trails to reach France, settle down and succeed in football. He was born in Miconje, in the Angolan Cabinda, an isolated territory of Angola, situated on the edge of the Atlantic and surrounded by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo. His parents, Sofía and Celestino, escaped the war before he was born and lived in a refugee camp in Miconje before being able to arrive in France in 2003 as emigrants.

Sofía, Celestino, Eduardo and their four brothers initially lived in Lille. Later they resided in Fougeres, in Brittany. There, Eduardo started doing judo, but they soon advised his parents to play soccer, as he had certain conditions ideal physics and the ball could be his future. He shone as a midfielder and as a forward. There was vision in that council, because they were completely right.

After playing five years at Drapeau-Fougeres, something saw Stade Rennais, Rennes, to sign him. With a precocious talent, he started in the subsidiary, but made his debut with the first team in French Ligue 1 on April 6, 2019. He became the youngest footballer to play a game of the French championship, with sixteen years, four months and twenty-seven days, beating the record of Mbappé with him Monaco. And on September 8, 2020 He made his debut with the French senior team and became the youngest player of the world champion, aged 17 years, 9 months and 29 days, since 1945. Real Madrid had him in their goal and signed him a year later.

The audacity to always ask for the ball

What many did not expect is that Camavinga would look so fast, at 18 years old, in the most complicated facets, the creative ones. Because Eduardo has essentially stood out in France as a defensive, destructive midfielder, given his physical power. A stealer of balls that initiated the counterattack with his speed in the center. In theory it came as a relief from Casemiro or to prop up a pivot pain point. And what has happened is that Ancelotti has used it in his other role, as an interior, and it has exploded in an impressive way, unexpected even for the most optimistic of the place. He made his debut against Celta and scored a goal. In San Siro he gave the decisive pass for Rodrygo to sign the victory.

In the club they are gawking in a positive way. An 18-year-old player who constantly asks his veteran teammates for the ball, starting with Benzema and ending with Modric. He has a personality that recalls Uli Stielike, who also demanded the ball from the first training session alongside Santiago Bernabéu to impose his character on the team as a twenty-something. Camavinga boldly asks for the ball. And in that anxiety he is too close to Casemiro and they step on the hose. The Brazilian, knowing what is happening to the kid, gives him the ball six meters away, although it would be more effective to send it to another side of the field, to another player.

In that youthful desire to have the ball and take risky passes, the French of Angolan origin generates some defensive problems for Real Madrid when the rival hunts his pass and begins a counterattack. In his obsession to build he leaves holes in defense, he forgets his destructive side. They are defects that Ancelotti corrects in front of him with videos, dialogue and tactical training, just as he does with other colleagues.

The fact of the matter is that the white club ruled out Odegaard as a replacement for Modric and “Bed” has been found, they already call him that on the field, as the ideal replacement thanks to his high pace of play, his self-confidence, his magic and a quality in attack unknown to the Madrid fans. He has an intentional pass, he has vision of the play and he expresses it with courage, without fear of being cut off by the opponent. Shoot without worry. It presents the audacity of the 18-year-old and shows it, it is not cut off before the veteran bosses. This is the footballer that Real Madrid wants, pushed forward, without fear.

The boy enjoys playing alongside men of such class and that higher level allows him to make combinations, walls and try things that he could not do at Rennes. He’s like a boy in new shoes. Real Madrid is the last of his shoe.


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