Real Madrid’s starting right-back got injured and was replaced by Lucas Vázquez. Who would have seen that as a game-changing moment in El Clasico?
In the Real Madrid 2020 summer clear-out of players, one of the players that most fans (including yours truly) wanted out was Lucas Vázquez. He was even linked with a transfer out to a club in Qatar, with Real Madrid supposedly deciding to leave the decision in his hands.
With Los Blancos having enough better options for the right-wing and Álvaro Odriozola back as back up for right-back, it was clear Vázquez wouldn’t get too many minutes this season. But Vázquez decided to stay and compete for any minutes that came his way, and he was rewarded.
Real Madrid has been going through an injury crisis, with the right-back spot suffering the most. Dani Carvajal and Odriozola both got injured one after the other and are out for some time. Nacho got the opportunity vs. Cadiz & Barcelona but had to leave the pitch in the game vs. Barcelona due to injury. This presented a chance to Vázquez who took it with both hands.
Most Madridistas would have had their heart in their mouths seeing Vázquez coming on. He has played at right-back before but hasn’t performed convincingly enough. And with Jordi Alba, Lionel Messi, and Ansu Fati having already combined to score the equalizer, it looked like Vázquez was in for a long game.
Real Madrid fans should give Lucas Vázquez more appreciation
But Vázquez proved everyone wrong with a colossal performance in the game. Vázquez, with Marco Asensio’s support, held down the fort on Madrid’s right-side not allowing the Barca trio any chance to create danger. According to whoscored.com, Vázquez attempted six tackles with four of them successful, made three interceptions, and had two key passes.
The Spanish winger put in a huge shift defensively and also did enough offensively. He would have had two assists if his teammates had managed to bury the chances that came his way. This was Vázquez’s best game in a while and he couldn’t have picked a better game to show this performance. It was in many ways a game-changing substitution as Nacho wasn’t looking good at right-back before his injury.
This game showed why players like Lucas Vázquez deserve more appreciation. He’s a player who bleeds Madridismo, one who’ll always leave his heart out on the pitch, someone who accepts any role without making too much fuss and not want a huge salary.
There were two special moments from the winger in Clasico: First when he dispossessed Messi after the Argentine had sent him the other way and second, a couple of classic Vázquez stepovers and a layoff to Casemiro. Madridistas will remember these two moments when they remember Lucas Vázquez along with his iconic ball spin during the Champions League final penalty shootout.