3 Stars and 3 Flops from Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey exit against Athletic Bilbao

Real Madrid, Nacho Fernandez (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Nacho Fernandez (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Nacho Fernandez
Real Madrid, Nacho Fernandez (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Star: CB Nacho Fernandez

Real Madrid’s utility man, Nacho Fernandez was the best player on the pitch for Los Blancos in my opinion. It is for such performances that I respect Nacho so much and consider him a true legend of the club. He is always there when the club needs him. A true loyal club servant, so dependable and so humble.

Nacho showed shades of his brilliance from last season in this one and if he is used more regularly, I think he can step up to be the player that he is. Captaining the team for this one, the Spaniard led with example in defense. He had a team-high four shots blocked and if it wasn’t for him, few of those shots could’ve been in the back of the net.

He had four clearances, three interceptions, and a tackle under his belt in this one. Apart from it, a 50% accuracy at long balls (4/8) and 90% passing accuracy (57/63) within 81 touches is a great record for an orthodox center-back. We have seen improvement from Nacho in his last few games and he is recovering from being the over-enthusiastic defender that he was in the beginning to be the solid utility man the club can depend upon.

Real Madrid, Rodrygo Goes
Real Madrid, Rodrygo Goes (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Flop: RW/LW Rodrygo Goes

Rodrygo Goes played for a few minutes in Brazil’s final game of the International break and he had to take a long flight back to Madrid and cut on his recovery time to be available for this one and it clearly showed in his performance. He was all sorts of underwhelming in this one and probably Asensio had more impact in this one than the young Brazilian. I hope I was being Sarcastic.

Rodrygo was the worst player in a white shirt in this one. While Asensio remained anonymous for the most part, he turned on the heat in the last minutes and nearly had his reward with a beautiful flicked-through ball for Casemiro, only if the Brazilian wouldn’t have messed the finish. But, such urgency was lacking from Rodrygo in the whole game.

Maybe it’s the jet lag to be blamed but the fact that Vinicius fared better than him leads me to think that Rodrygo lacks that extra bit of special required at Real Madrid. Vinicius in fact played for about an hour in Brazil’s last one. Rodrygo cannot play this way if he really wants to succeed at Real Madrid, it’s a demanding club but there have been players who have met the demands, if Rodrygo cannot do the same, the club may have long thinking to do.

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He made no key passes in the entire 90 minutes playing as a winger. He swapped roles with Asensio at times and wasn’t effective there either. Then he hopped onto the favored left-wing after Isco was brought on, and was even worse there. I love Rodrygo and I want to believe in him but if he plays this way, his future at the club could be under scrutiny.