Real Madrid: 3 MOTM candidates against Villarreal

Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Toni Kroos
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

CM Toni Kroos

Fede Valverde is a massive loss for Real Madrid, make no mistake. Valverde is one of Europe’s premier box-to-box midfielders, even at the age of 22. He has dominated Derbis and Clasicos alike, and he even has the second-most goals in La Liga of Real Madrid players with three. Not bad for an industrious midfielder, right?

Los Blancos’ midfield can still be excellent, even without Fede and Casemiro available. Luka Modric has been right there with Valverde as one of Real’s top players in 2020-2021, but I’d like to highlight another legendary Madrid midfielder as a potential Man of the Match.

Toni Kroos is Real Madrid’s leader in passing accuracy and key passes per game. According to WhoScored.com, there is only one player in La Liga with more key passes per game than Kroos’ 2.8.

If anyone can consistently create the chances, control the midfield, make up for Valverde’s and Case’s absences, and combat Dani Parejo’s effectiveness on the other side, then it is the cerebral Kroos. The Real Madrid midfield maestro has been itching for a big match like this one to remind the world that he merits consideration among the world’s best at his position.

Kroos has played well this season, but Real Madrid fans have been expecting more from Kroos than “good”. They want him to be one of the world’s best and have performances in major spots that befit someone who has earned that title.

I have a feeling we could see one of those performances at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Saturday afternoon. If not, Real will be in trouble.