Real Madrid: 4 stars and 2 flops from a disappointing February

Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Fede Valverde of Real Madrid
Fede Valverde, Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

It’s that time of the month again and I am here with the monthly analysis of Real Madrid’s players. February was a disappointing month that started with the club’s exit from the Copa del Rey at hands of Athletic Club and finished with a tight game against neighboring Rayo Vallecano that required a moment of brilliance to bag all three points. The month also included the biggest embarrassment in Paris, not for the scoreline but for the way Los Blancos played in that fixture.

Here are the stars and flops from the month of February.

Star: CM Fede Valverde

The midfield remained a hit and miss throughout the month. The holy trinity of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Carlos Casemiro didn’t perform up to their standards. While there was an exceptional performance from Casemiro in a 0-0 draw against Villarreal there also were several underwhelming performances in games like the one against Rayo Vallecano. Sloppy giveaways have been a constant problem for the Brazilian.

Toni Kroos very similarly had a mixed bag of performances. To cut it short, the holy trinity hasn’t been at its best. But, they aren’t your regular midfielders. Whenever not at their best, they still do a decent job of seeing the game out.

However, one midfielder has finally taken a step in the right direction and has stood out in improvement. He is Fede Valverde and I definitely consider him a star of the month for how he has capitalized on the opportunities that came his way in the month. He finally got his minutes and made a strong case for a more regular role in the squad.

Valverde’s first opportunity came in the game against Granada when he was brought on as a second-half change around the hour mark. Even if his stat sheet for the game was pretty ordinary, everyone who watched the game noticed the impact his fresh legs created in terms of pressing and making clever runs. He started the game against Villarreal but couldn’t come up with a decisive play other than creating one clear chance for Vinicius Junior.

He came on as a substitute against PSG and couldn’t make an impact within eight minutes. But, he more than made it up for that missed opportunity with solid performances in the two final games of the month. Fede is finally looking like the player he is and I hope his recent form works as the best springboard for him to brighter days as the season approaches its business end.

Éder Militão, Real Madrid (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Éder Militão, Real Madrid (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Star: CB Eder Militao

Real Madrid just conceded two goals in the entire month. One was scored by Alex Berenguer in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals and the other was scored by Kylian Mbappe in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 ties at Paris. In LaLiga, this was a perfect month for the defense with four clean sheets in four games. That does sound nice but only regular viewers know how vulnerable Real Madrid is defensively. They are more dependent on their magnificent goalkeeper and some expert last-ditch defending from their stable center-backs.

There was one name in the defense that stood out in February and that was Eder Militao. Recovering from his Holiday hangover, Militao looked much more solid in February. He dropped back-to-back crucial performances and helped Real Madrid stay alive in matches that could’ve gone haywire otherwise.

David Alaba, Real Madrid’s other first-choice center-back was brilliant in February as well but I think Militao edges Alaba in a close battle for being the best defender of the month. Firstly, Militao played all six games while Alaba missed the game against Rayo and had to shift to left-back for the game against Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey.  Secondly, Militao dropped three masterclasses in the month in the games against PSG, Athletic Club, and Villarreal. He was an undoubted star of the month.