Eduardo Camavinga: Real Madrid's outstanding - but reluctant - left-back is becoming one of Europe's best
In the 35th minute of Real Madrid's Champions League clash with Manchester City, Eduardo Camavinga did something very few left-backs are capable of. He played a quick one-two with Luka Modric before taking off down the line — and driving deep into the Citizens' half. The Frenchman strode past a languid Bernardo Silva, before laying the ball off to Vinicius Jr. The Madrid winger did the rest, driving a shot past a sprawling Ederson to give Los Blancos a 1-0 lead in the tie.
And although Vinicius' finish grabbed the headlines, Camavinga's build-up play set it all up. His assist wasn't a very left-back thing. Then again, Camavinga isn't really a left-back. By trade, he is a central midfielder. He tackles like a hard-nosed No.6, and carries the ball like a true box-to-box No.8. At times, he can ping passes like a regista. And some of his passing in the final third is on par with classic No.10s
For this Madrid side, he's an - admittedly reluctant - full-back, a player operating out of position. After deputising in the role for the past three months, he's steadily become one the best in Europe, and perhaps holds the key to stalling City's high-powered attack in Wednesday's second leg at the Etihad Stadium.