Real Madrid: 5 key players to watch against Inter Milan at the San Siro

Real Madrid, Raphael Varane (Photo by A. Ware/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Raphael Varane (Photo by A. Ware/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy
Ferland Mendy of Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

LB Ferland Mendy

At this point, it is difficult to think of a left back who is playing at a higher level than Ferland Mendy right now. The man is completing more than 90 percent of his passes and is second in La Liga with 3.0 dribbles per game, behind only Lionel Messi himself, per But of course, Mendy’s intelligent defending and ability to bully any winger off the ball are what make him special. The man is just about impossible to get past and spares nobody in the tackle.

Mendy destroyed Achraf Hakimi in the first fixture. The former Madridista embarrassed himself against Mendy, offering little credible attacking threat while getting exposed defensively. Hakimi’s headline-making moves were an errant back-pass that led to Karim Benzema’s goal, as well as a blatant flop inside the penalty box that drew the ire of Sergio Ramos.

Hakimi won’t let it end there, though. He has been excellent in Serie A for Inter Milan and has a tremendous rapport with Inter’s best player, Romelu Lukaku. The best player, by the way, who was missing in their road loss to Real.

So when Lukaku returns, Hakimi can awaken and will have the added motivation of wanting to make up for his woeful performance at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. That means Mendy must be equal to the task of stopping a motivated, speedy Hakimi.