Real Madrid fans do not have a high opinion of Didier Deschamps. For years, he played a role in not calling up one of the best strikers of all time and, most importantly, the best French striker of all time, Karim Benzema. One reason for this omission? Because he was so fragile he could not face the reasonable accusations he was racist for initially snubbing Benz.
Although that egregious mistake has been rectified, it is a prime example of how little sense and respectability Deschamps has as a leader. He has been skating on France’s World Cup win – and Nations League win, led by Benzema, by the way – but his issues are catching up to him.
In the latest Nations League, France look like they did at the Euros. Out of ideas and marred by dated tactics and laughable team selection decisions, France is a Rolls Royce being made to look like a Ford. Thanks to Deschamps.
If any Real Madrid fans have unwisely forgiven Deschamps for the Benzema snubs, they have surely put the embattled coach back in their doghouse for the way he is treating one of their young jewels, Eduardo Camavinga.
Eduardo Camavinga is better than several of France’s midfielders
The world-class Camavinga was one of Ligue 1’s best for years, moved to Madrid, and played a vital role in them winning the Champions League by outclassing the world’s best midfielders for the final hour of UCL knockout matches.
Yet Camavinga has not been called up by Deschamps lately. He is not even in France’s official squad for the UEFA Nations League.
France have just five listed midfielders and six total players who can play in the midfield. Aurelien Tchouameni, Adrien Rabiot, Boubacar Kamara, N’Golo Kante, Matteo Guendouzi, and Christopher Nkunku.
Guendouzi and Rabiot are clearly inferior players to Camavinga. At no point in their careers have they been anywhere near Camavinga, who surpasses them in technical quality, defensive contributions, creativity, ball progression, and, most importantly, football IQ. Even as a teenager, he is a cut above these two players, who are, quite frankly, the worst on the French national team.
Camavinga could offer France so much more than them. He is also better than Kamara in center midfield.
Deschamps’ decision not to play Camavinga is foolish on multiple grounds. Camavinga is better than multiple players at the position. But also, Camavinga brings a unique blend of technique and athleticism that is missing from the others in the midfield. Outside of the eternal Kante, who else is a better 8 for Les Bleus?
But there is a third reason. Camavinga, along with his Real Madrid teammate and friend Tchouameni, is clearly the future of the national team. He is the next big thing and was earmarked for greatness at the age of 16. Not giving him experience is malpractice both for the team’s short-term success heading into the World Cup and in setting the foundation for long-term success.
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Then again, we all know Deschamps isn’t one for the long term. It is only a matter of time before a third Real Madrid midfielder joins the party and truly fulfills the potential of this squad, Zinedine Zidane.