Real Madrid: 5 burning questions from the draw with Real Sociedad

Real Madrid, Mariano Diaz (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Mariano Diaz (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Fede Valverde
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images) /

How often will Fede Valverde start?

Fede Valverde entered the pitch for star midfielder Luka Modric in the 76th minute and helped change the game for Los Blancos. It was the Uruguayan’s backheel that proved decisive, as it set up Lucas Vazquez, who then crossed it into Vinicius Junior’s path in the thick of the action in the penalty box for the winning goal. Vazquez gets the assist, but it was the “hockey” assist from Valverde that truly made this goal happen.

It’s easy to forget, but Valverde was one of Real’s best players in 2019-2020 and arguably their best player over the first few months of the 2020-2021 season before suffering his first injury. He was scoring goals, creating chances, gliding past defenders, and putting in his usual gritty defensive work.

Valverde is one of the best overall midfielders in the world, but he is one of four world-class players in football’s greatest midfield. Modric and Toni Kroos have been two of the world’s best this season, while Casemiro is in top form.

So we’ll see just how frequently Zinedine Zidane calls on his budding superstar. We know for sure that he’ll be in the lineup against Atalanta at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, as Casemiro was suspended for picking up another yellow card during the first leg.