22 Defender Real Madrid Spain
2014 has been...
…maravilloso, having been wunderbar the year before.
When Real Madrid agreed to sell Dani Carvajal to Bayer Leverkusen in 2012 the most important part of the negotiation was inserting the buy-back clause they would trigger after a single season to bring him back to the club. He wasn’t sold due to a lack of faith, he had been a star for Castilla and the talent was obvious, but stepping into a Real Madrid first team is one of the toughest jobs in football. It brings pressure from within, attention from everywhere else and the knowledge that everything you do in each and every game will be dissected to the point of exhaustion. Not everyone can do it and the experience gained via a season in the Bundesliga could be invaluable in the course of a full career, if of course he could cope with new surroundings. Cope he did and Real brought him back at the first available opportunity now confident they could try him in the first team.
With all this in mind, how has this young right-back coped? In a word, brilliantly. The transition from one of the best defenders in Spanish youth football to one of the best in the Bundesliga was taken with ease, the jump from that to now one of the best in La Liga has also been traversed beautifully. In two years he has become starting right-back for Real, been part of the Spanish U21 squad that won the European Championships, won a Copa del Rey, a Champion’s League and a UEFA Super Cup, is now starting full-back for Spain and has been a huge part of Real’s near-perfect start to the season. Internationally he just missed out on a summer spent at the World Cup but on reflection, this was probably a good thing as he escaped criticism by association.
More of the same. Each and every challenge has been taken expertly so far and already he’s achieved things most players would kill for. His maturity is astounding for his age and has gone a long way towards coping with a Real Madrid shirt. That place in their first team is his for the long-term and we can’t see any reason why he can’t take it for as long as time allows. The talent backs up the circumstances, he’s a full international and is completely at home with himself and his surroundings. He makes us happy and we like that.
There are no transfer rumours to speak of because, to be frank, why would he move? This season could see him win a first league-winner’s medal if Real keep up their phenomenal form and while many would love him in their side, there is little to no chance of either club or player wishing to part for a long time to come. Life is good both on and off the pitch, long may it continue.
There is a lack of drama around Dani Carvajal that’s incredibly impressive at a club who openly court it. He’s tidy in attack rather than fireworks and rollercoasters like some and we like that. Defensively he makes it look easy and unfussy, and we like that too. He may not set the heart racing like some of his team-mates or others on this list, but pound-for-pound he’s up their with the very best of the IBWM100. We’ve enjoyed watching you, Dani, here’s to a long and successful career ahead.
“Real Madrid handled Daniel Carvajal in the perfect manner. After leading Castilla to success it was deemed a year abroad in Germany’s Bundesliga would be the ideal test of his quality and character. Carvajal didn’t falter, becoming one of the best full-backs in the league. The result? He’s now a regular for the reigning European champions, and doesn’t look out of place. Did I mention he’s Spain’s first choice right back too?” – David Cartlidge
"Real Madrid have won 78.3% of the 60 matches he has played for the club in all competitions." - OptaJoe
B Now a regular for both one of the highest profile club and international sides in the world and never misses a beat, not phased by a move away or a move back, quite the player.
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