Real Madrid vs PSG: 5 players who could decide the Round of 16 tie

Real Madrid, PSG (Photo by Visionhaus)
Real Madrid, PSG (Photo by Visionhaus) /
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The meeting between Real Madrid and PSG was one of the many eye-catching matchups of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match week. This was a contest that loudly asserted that a football match is much more than merely goals scored. Both sides demonstrated character that was anywhere between mediocre and heavy.

Real Madrid understandably lost the game by one goal in the dying minutes, leaving the Spanish club with a deficit that would compel them to start the tie under more pressure at the Bernabeu. The hosts did not completely dominate Madrid, but there was something they lacked, figuring out which is a duty we would delegate to Carlo Ancelotti.

What we can do instead is identify individuals from both sides who might be critical in determining the outcome of the second leg, which is only a week away.

On March 9th, Real Madrid will host PSG in their backyard, and here I will provide you with the five most key players for both giants that could influence the final outcome and hence the qualification to the next round.

Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /

5. Federico Valverde

One thing that almost all the football teams who have successfully beaten Real Madrid in the past have learned is the skill to paralyze their midfield and that was one of the many aspects PSG attacked on in the first leg. The veteran trinity of Kroos-Casemiro-Modric was effectively rendered impotent by the French club, and the team clearly suffered as a result.

Fede Valverde has been widely cited as the key to breaking down PSG’s physical wall, and Carlo Ancelotti has been harshly chastised for not getting the Uruguayan on the pitch earlier. Valverde, with his agility and ability to sprint like no other, is a player capable of blowing such chains.

And although the youngster’s position in the expected starting lineup is still up for question, owing to his ability to perform equally well in midfield and on the wings, several analysts have stated that the player will be granted a starting slot at the Bernabeu.

Emphasis is being placed on deploying him on the right-wing alongside Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema owing to poor performance from Marco Asensio in the previous leg and the irreplaceability of Kroos and Modric from their respective positions.

What enraged the supporters and Florentino Perez the most was Real Madrid’s slowness, a trait they were not identified with when the season began. They were incredibly sluggish in moving the ball forward quickly, and this is the ailment for which Valverde may provide a remedy.

If used correctly, Valverde will undoubtedly have a beneficial influence and, much to everyone’s delight will assist Real Madrid to come out victorious.