Real Madrid vs Napoli First Leg: Player Ratings

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 15: Players of Real Madrid pose before the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Real Madrid CF and SSC Napoli at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 15, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 15: Players of Real Madrid pose before the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Real Madrid CF and SSC Napoli at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 15, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images) /

Last night’s match featured a nerve-wracking 90 minute. Real Madrid managed to put on a great performance in a match that has so much importance for both teams. As with any match, lets go ahead and rate the individual performances of the night for Real Madrid’s player who saw action:

Zinedine Zidane-8/10

Zissou had a pretty good night. He made the right choice in going back to the tried and proven 4-3-3 after a questionable performance in a 5-3-2 formation. He made the right choice in fielding Karim Benzema in the starting XI as Benz played a good game scoring the first goal. The fact that the backline wasn’t as tight as it could’ve been and him making the odd choice to sub Sergio Ramos for Pepe 20 minutes before the end of the match keep this from being an amazing performance.

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 15: Goalkeeper Keylor Navas of Real Madrid dives in vain as Lorenzo Insigne of Napoli (not pictured) scores their first goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Real Madrid CF and SSC Napoli at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 15, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

Defensive Backline and Goalkeeper

Keylor Navas- 4/10

Keylor Navas, on the other hand, had a terrible night. The Insigne goal was completely down to him not being in a good position. It would’ve been a routine stop had he not been that far out. In fact, there were multiple occasions where he was out of position or made errors. Hopefully Keylor gets his stuff together for 2nd leg.

Marcelo- 7/10

As always when it comes to important matches, Marcelo shined going forward but left a lot to be desired defensively.  Callejon for Napoli managed to break through his flank multiple times. He also wasted multiple opportunities; The most clear being his last one where he saw himself right in front of the goal but went wide by a good margin. He tried to play it off as a through ball for Morata, but we can see through you Marcelo.

Sergio Ramos- 7/10

Sergio Ramos had an adequate performance. He wasn’t the dominating center back he has been in some matches, but he also didn’t make any of the errors he’s been making all season. In my eyes, if Ramos can control the backline and not score in his own net or be at fault for a goal, its an above average performance from him. He was subbed in the 71st minute after picking up a knock to his upper thigh.

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Raphael Varane- 8/10

Varane was great. While he’s had ups and downs throughout the season, last night he managed to contain one of Europe’s deadliest forward. Dries Mertens was helpless thanks to very good man-to-man coverage from Varane. His speed was once again a very welcome addition to the backline, with a few great recoveries that could’ve been problematic if he lacked pace.

Dani Carvajal- 8.5/10

Carvajal has become a mainstay of the defensive backline when fit and its not hard to see why. In his first game of the year, he managed to not only provide good defensive support, but also assisted Benzema in his opening goal for Madrid. Carvajal is the catalyst that makes the attack work, with great passing and tireless work rates. He also managed to contain Insigne for the most part with some help from Casemiro and James.



Casemiro- 9/10

What a night for the Brazilian. He managed to contain the Napoli’s midfield with his usual great tackling and scored the goal of the match. His possession stats were good, and he keeps progressing as a player when it comes to ball distribution. He’s no Toni Kroos yet, but its nice to see how well Casemiro has been developing here at Madrid. Oh, and that goal! Don’t be surprised to see it on the short list for goal of the year. Almost earned man of the match if not for…

Toni Kroos- 9.5/10 (Man of the Match)

Toni Kroos once again demonstrated why he’s one of the best midfielders in the world. He completely dominated the midfield with excellent ball distribution. He benefitted from the 4-3-3 formation and managed to be involved almost everywhere on the pitch. He scored the second goal of the match to give Real the lead with an expertly taken shot. He deservedly gets Man of the Match.

(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images) /

Luka Modric- 8/10

Luka had his usual great performance. He provided a lot of depth going forward and gave Cristiano Ronaldo a golden opportunity to score that he squandered. He would be rated higher had he not made some trivial mistakes, but it was still a good performance nonetheless.


Cristiano Ronaldo- 8.5/10

What can I say about Cristiano Ronaldo that hasn’t been said already? He had a good showing, but it was far from his best. His transition from goal scoring beast to an assist machine is almost complete at this point. He missed three or four opportunities that he would’ve put away two seasons ago, but all of that can be forgiven by his great playing. He had a great night and terrorized Napoli’s back line throughout the match. Not only did he out dribble Koulibaly, but he got rid of any selfish thoughts going through his mind by assisting Toni Kroos’s goal instead of trying to take an uncomfortable shot. He provided an array of crosses that no one managed to capitalize on. Had Real Madrid been more clinical, he could’ve easily reached 3 assists last night.

(Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
(Photo by Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images) /

Karim Benzema- 8/10

It was a good showing from the Frenchman. He came out aggressively looking for a goal and almost scored it in the first of minute. If ever there was a night to end a goal scoring drought, it was last night. Fortunately, he managed to score a beautiful header to equalize. He tracked back more than usual to help relieve some pressure from the midfield, and would have been rated higher had he been a little more clinical in his shooting.

James Rodriguez- 8/10

After a surprising inclusion in the starting XI over Lucas Vasquez, he proved all the naysayers wrong. He had a great match, helping things transition smoothly whenever he got the ball and showed us why he deserves to play more often. He was involved in Real Madrid’s first goal, setting up Carvajal for the cross that equalized. With a performance like last night’s, its crazy to think how well he’d do with regular playing time.


Pepe- 7.5/10

Only saw 20 minutes on the field after the Sergio Ramos substitution. He managed to transition seamlessly into the back line, providing that great marking we’ve come to love helping to hold Napoli to just the one away goal.

Lucas Vasquez- 7/10

Came in for James in the 76th minute. He provided good defensive support once the team switched to a 4-4-2 formation but left much to be desired going forward. The word I would use for his performance would be “adequate.”

Next: 3 Takeaways from Real Madrid vs Napoli

Alvaro Morata- N/A

Unfortunately, we didn’t see much from Morata. He only had 8 minute to try and make an impact, but never really had a good moment. He looked less energized than normal, making little to no effort when it comes to pressuring the defense.