Real Madrid’s 2019-2020 season came to an end on Friday night, after they were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League. But the season on a whole has been a positive one, and some might even argue it was an overachieving campaign – seeing Madrid win La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup.
So, I decided to give our players a season rating out of 10, across all competitions:
Thibaut Courtois 9.5/10
Arguably the best goalkeeper in the world this season, the Belgian recovered from a disappointing debut season and was crowned as the Zamora winner. Courtois was of course helped by a historic defensive unit, but even still, he frequently was called upon to make at least a couple of big saves a game. An overall complete season, a goalkeeper who played a massive role in the league title.
Alphonse Areola 4.0/10
A bit part player, who got his big chance in the Copa Del Rey tie against Real Sociedad, and will perhaps be remembered because of it. That performance, in which he contributed to Madrid’s elimination, most likely sealed his fate, and is why Andriy Lunin will be recalled for next season.
Dani Carvajal 8.0/10
Back to his best in the league run-in, but still pretty inconsistent since his heart issues. Carvajal reemerged as a top three right back in world football this season, and this resurgence to form to help Madrid clinch the title is largely why Zinedine Zidane has opted for him, and conceded the sale of Achraf Hakimi. He needs competition, that’s when we’ll see him evolve even further. A solid campaign.
Alvaro Odriozola 2.0/10
His future at the club was sealed after his debacle of a performance against Mallorca, where he was seen stood on the touchline after being sent-off, resigned to his long-term fate at Madrid. But it looks like destiny has blessed Odriozola with another chance, and when he returns from his short loan with Bayern Munich, he’ll be tasked to provide cover for Carvajal, and push his senior countryman. Is this likely to be Odriozola’s last chance at the club? Most definitely, it’s up to him to seize the chance.
Raphael Varane 8.5/10
Overall, Real Madrid’s most consistent and best defender throughout the campaign, and at time, he carried and covered for Sergio Ramos, particularly before the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately for Varane, his pivotal errors against Manchester City will overshadow the tremendous season he had.
Sergio Ramos 8.0/10
The captain and leader, reinforced this year why a two-year extension is the least the club need to offer him. After the lockdown, Ramos transformed, perhaps he was carrying some sort of injury before the pandemic, but once football returned, Ramos returned and it showed.
Eder Militao 6.5/10
A very decent debut season, one Militao can certainly be proud of. Clearly, he lacks continuity, and that is just the nature of being Madrid’s third choice central defender, chances will be limited, but when called upon, he has taken them. I look back to his performance against Athletic Bilbao at San Mames, boy he was special. The Brazilian has a bright future at Madrid.
Nacho Fernandez 2.0/10
A great servant of the club, but you’d be brave to argue why Nacho should remain at the club, considering his contract is expiring in 2022, and he’ll be 31 midway through next season. He’s past his best, and has looked physically unreliable which was usually a likable asset of his. Whether it’s at center-back or right-back, he doesn’t fill me with confidence, and his disappointing performance against Real Sociedad was evidence of this. Over to you Zidane, you decide what to do with Nacho.
Another player who looks past his best, but Zidane clearly sees something in him. A string of injuries disturbed Marcelo’s season, but when he’s fit, Zidane obviously still rates his experience on the pitch. With the emergence of Ferland Mendy, it’s unlikely Marcelo will start the big games, and he might still prove to be someone worthy of having around the group, particularly for the young Brazilians.
Ferland Mendy 9.5/10
Arguably Madrid’s player of the season, a truly superb signing. Madrid have replaced Marcelo effortlessly, and yet, despite a terrific campaign, we still have so much more to see from the Frenchman. His attacking game will need unleashing, but he fills me with such confidence, and is one of the pivotal reasons behind Madrid’s defensive strength, and La Liga crown.
What more can be said about the man who glues everything together? Casemiro is the best defensive midfielder on the planet, and had a flawless season, up until Friday night. The Brazilian almost seemed punch-drunk, but knowing him, and Varane, they’ll both want to come back even stronger to put things right. Madrid have an issue though, they desperately need to find suitable cover for Casemiro, because for them to expect him to go injury-free once more, is delusional and very risky.
Federico Valverde 8.0/10
When Zidane sold Marcos Llorente, he wanted to give Valverde the chance to grow. The Uruguayan has put together so many memorable moments this season, and at times, he looked irreplaceable. The red card against Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup will be his crowning moment, but when it mattered, he provided adequate cover with his defensive and box-to-box hussle, this kid is legitimate, and although he fell off after the lockdown, it was to expected. A lot more to come from Fede.
Toni Kroos 8.5/10
The maestro, the chief, the engine, as Casemiro said, ‘everything operates through Kroos’. Another consistent season of nonchalantly getting the business done, Kroos was the second best midfielder on the planet this season, only surpassed by Kevin De Bruyne. Hopefully more of the same, next season.
Luka Modric 7.0/10
An indifferent campaign for the former Ballon d’Or winner, as age clearly caught up with him. But when Zidane called upon the Croat in the run-in, he didn’t disappoint. Playing like a man possessed, Modric returned to running things, and his post-lockdown form was like a throwback, beautiful.
James Rodriguez 1.0/10
Hardly called upon, and even then, suffered an injury which derailed any chances of him returning to Zidane’s plans. Things simply haven’t worked out for James for various reasons, and he is one of the players who will be sold this summer. All the best to a man who lit up a World Cup, single-handedly.
Often the man Zidane went to, especially when enforcing his diamond formation. A player who can frustrate, but performed well when called upon. A good season, although I would love him to become a first-team mainstay, consistency is what he lacks, and I think that can only come through continuity. I’d go as far as saying, the second-leg against Manchester City may have ended differently if Isco played, but strangely, he didn’t even come on, which was an unexpected twist by Zidane.
Brahim Diaz 1.0/10
A talented player, who needs a loan. I really wish they forced him to leave last summer, because he has essentially wasted an entire season. But he has bags of ability, and if he doesn’t return to the club after a successful loan, he’ll bring the club at least double of what they invested in him in 2019.
Lucas Vazquez 3.0/10
Like Nacho, a great servant to the club, happy to do as he’s told, and used to make an impact from the bench. This season amplified what the decision should be regarding Lucas. With so many talented wide forwards, they need to give them more minutes, while Lucas, who’s contract expires in 2021, simply has to be moved on this summer. A fine career at Real Madrid, and one to be proud of.
Gareth Bale 1.0/10
Simply not the standard of player who should be earning the salary the club have given him. Keeping him after Kiev was one of Florentino Perez’ biggest mistakes, and a damaging one. Bale is now toxic, and the sooner the club sees the back of him the better. His season was frustrating, from the chances he was given at the start of the season, he didn’t look anywhere near the player that he once was.
Vinicius Junior 8.0/10
Real Madrid’s new golden boy, he makes everything tick, and is our most exciting talent. Vini’s ceiling is so high, and in his second season, he has transformed. There’s still so much more work to do, but he’s such a pleasure to watch. Irreplaceable in the starting XI, and when he starts finishing off his chances more often, we’re going to have a monster on our hands. His winner against Barcelona is my favourite moment, Vinicius scored, with Cristiano Ronaldo clapping in the stands. Lovely scenes.
Rodrygo Goes 6.5/10
It was always going to be a difficult debut season for Rodrygo. He was naturally a left-winger at Santos, but after signing him, Real Madrid asked the Brazilian club to specifically play him on the right, to allow for an easier integration when he arrived at Madrid. His hat-trick against Galatasaray is his highlight, a perfect hat-trick as he announced himself. Like Vini, a lot of work still to do, I’d like to see him be more free and attack more, but it will come with time. Zidane clearly trusts him, highlighted by the fact he started over Vinicius and Marco Asensio in the second leg against Man City on Friday. Good season, but lots more to come.
Marco Asensio 2.0/10
After returning from an ACL injury, Asensio played a minor role after the lockdown, and scored his comeback goal with his first touch against Valencia. Asensio has a huge season next year, with Madrid’s pursuit of Kylian Mbappe not ending, he has the entirety of the 2020-21 campaign to put everything right. Madrid’s right-wing position was exhaustingly poor this season, he really needs to make his mark. It’s his time, it’s his redemption season.
Eden Hazard 3.5/10
A great disappointment. When Madrid spend over €100m on you, and Zidane specifically demands your signing, you have to be prepared. But he arrived overweight and ill-prepared, and things got worse for him. I remember watching him live at the Bernabeu against Paris Saint Germain in November, and I remember pinching myself at the level he was producing, knowing he still wasn’t anywhere near his best. But then it came crashing down, and now, 10 months later, the signs still aren’t positive with the ankle he had an operation on. We really need him to light up next season.
Mariano Diaz 3.5/10
The Spanish forward didn’t really get enough opportunities, but when he did, he scored the clincher against Barcelona. Another player who needs to be sold this summer.
Luka Jovic 3.0/10
The Serbian faced a tricky debut season, mainly because he’s up against someone who’s crucial to how Madrid play. Karim Benzema having one of his best seasons since arriving in 2009 didn’t help Jovic, who has somewhat been treated unfairly. A lot of what happens is behind closed doors, and during training sessions, and so the question is, has Jovic impressed enough to start most games, probably not, especially because of Benzema’s form, but should Jovic have been used a lot more when Benzema went through a dry patch at the beginning of 2020? For sure. I think next season will determine whether or not Jovic stays at the club long-term, he has a lot to show, because he has a lot of talent.
Karim Benzema 9.5/10
The front-runner for Real’s player of the season, Benzema was incredible, and a leader, above everything else. At times, it looked like Madrid would only win 1-0 in certain contests, and if the goal didn’t come from him, it wouldn’t have arrived, that’s the level of reliance on Benzema’s shoulders. But he handled it well, and if only he took penalties too, he would have won the race against Lionel Messi to the Pichichi. A historic season from Benzema, but I would like to see him rotated more in 2020-21.
An overachieving season comes to an end…
And so, it’s quite clear, Real’s finest performers across the board were Benzema, Mendy, Casemiro and Courtois, closely followed by Varane and Kroos. Other players who deserve credit to the success this season are club captain Ramos, Vinicius and Valverde – who all contributed to the silverware. A special shoutout to Modric, who’s post-lockdown form was heavily instrumental in sealing La Liga for Madrid.
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Ramos deserves atleast 9