The Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid was a veritable festival of Brazilians – but for every Malcom of a performance there was a Marcelo of a night
Six Brazilians gave a special flavor for the Spanish Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey semi final. Three of them left a good impression and took advantage of the match to boost their status at the club, whereas things do not look as bright for another trio. So, who are the winners and losers following the draw at Camp Nou?
3. Vinícius Júnior
The 18-year old made his Clasico debut with an impressive display of skills, showing no sign of fear whatsoever. The Madrid man’s cross to Karim Benzema, followed by the latter’s nice play to Lucas Vazquez, meant that Real Madrid would take the lead.
Moments later, Vinícius would set up Toni Kroos, unmarked in the penalty box, but the German slipped and wasted the shot. His sparkling runs always kept Barcelona under pressure, and his high defensive work-rate is also to his credit. However, the Brazilian’s decision-making did let him down on several plays, and that’s why a third place will be all he gets.
2. Arthur Melo
Absolutely one of the best performers of the whole match. Arthur barely stepped a foot wrong against Real Madrid. His confidence is incredible, his faith in his ability to retain ball possession and resist pressure under any circumstances, are certainly traits that make him so popular among Barça fans, as it gets more obvious how much his playing style is reminiscent to Xavi Hernandez.
If there was a player who needed such a good performance to prove a point, it’s most definitely Malcom. He hardly got any chances this season, but a top Clasico display could possibly change things for the better. The wide-man looked like Ronaldinho in his prime in several situations, as he completely outplayed Marcelo and co with his dazzling dribbles. Scoring the all-important equalizer was the cherry on the cake!
Carlos Henrique’s performance was not bad, but not too good either. To his defense, he did enter as a second-half substitute. But with Marco Llorente set to cause him serious competition from now on, Casemiro could have used this Clasico to his advantage. But a cheap giveaway to Lionel Messi right after coming on, means that the Brazilian has to feature in the lower section.
1 and 2. Coutinho and Marcelo
It it really very difficult to choose between the two, as to who was the worst Brazilian in El Clasico. Both of them are no doubt the biggest two losers. Coutinho was very ineffective and failed to provide any real addition to this Barcelona side in Messi’s absence, whereas Marcelo was defensively woeful.
To put things into perspective, the impression is that Vinícius Júnior, the teenager, offered better defensive contribution than Real Madrid’s vice captain. Ousmane Dembelé and Sergio Reguilon will certainly be looking forward to take advantage of the situation and fight for a starting spot ahead of the two Brazilians.
Having said that, nothing lasts forever in football. There is always a new opportunity in the next few match for the biggest winners to prove that their early performances were not a fluke, and for the biggest losers of El Clasico, to show that it was just a sing night off.