The worst news about the first leg of the semi-finals of the Champions League between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid was the injury of Daniel Carvajal, doubtlessly the best right back in Europe. The club has still to confirm the length of the injury but it’s very likely that the Spaniard will miss the rest of the season.
Carvajal got injured at the end of the first half. After jumping to head the ball, he noticed the pain in the right thigh. He couldn’t continue and Carvajal was replaced by Nacho in the half time. Nacho didn’t suffer in this position and he played great actually, defending Filipe Luis and Ferreira Carrasco in his side of the pitch.
Zinedine Zidane has to decide how to replace Carvajal in the next few games. He has a person in this position in the squad, but Danilo has shown that he shouldn’t be trusted in important games. The Brazilian performances are getting better in the last weeks and he’s having many minutes in La Liga, but it’s very unlikely that Zizou decides to put him in the line-up in the Champions League.
Now that Raphael Varane is recovered and Pepe is also training with the rest of the team, we should think that Nacho will be the chosen one to play in this position. The Spanish full back was the defense with more minutes during the month of April and he is untouchable for Zizou. In this new position of right back he can also be very competitive and help the team to win the two titles remaining.
However, Real Madrid supporters will miss Carvajal. The right back started the season with a superb goal in the extra time of the European Supercup against Sevilla, bringing the title to Madrid. Then, he made an amazing assist to Benzema in the Champions League against Napoli and played really well against Bayern Munich. He’s level is improving season by season and no one doubts about his importance.
The stats show that Los Blancos can overcome this fatality. Carvajal has missed 12 games this season in La Liga and Champions League and Real Madrid won all of them. In Europe he only missed the game against Legia at home. In Copa del Rey, Carvajal didn’t play the quarter-finals against Celta and Real Madrid were knocked-out of the competition.