Why New Real Madrid Player Eduardo Camavinga is Soccer’s Next Superstar

By Zarko Naric in Sports
| September 2, 2021 3:34 am PDT

On Tuesday, August 31, Real Madrid confirmed the signing of French teenager Eduardo Camavinga. To get ahold of his signature, Los Blancos had to pay about $37 million to his former club Rennes.

Camavinga’s transfer might not seem like a big deal, especially knowing that Real Madrid tried to sign Kylian Mbappe this summer for a reported fee of over $200 million.

Despite not being a household name even among the most passionate soccer aficionados, Camavinga is likely to become one. Still in his teens, Real Madrid’s new midfielder is on the right track to becoming soccer’s next superstar.

Let’s look at Eduardo Camavinga and assess his future impact with Real Madrid and soccer in general.

Who is Eduardo Camavinga?

Through its youth ranks, Rennes has produced many notable players, including Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele, Everton’s Abdoulaye Doucoure, and more. Still, their latest academy offspring could become the greatest of them all.

Eduardo Camavinga is the man in question, who had been one of Rennes’ key players before moving to Real Madrid.

Although only 18, he already played 88 games in the French top-flight as a part of the Rennes senior squad.

Camavinga was only 11 when he became a part of Stade Rennes FC, a French soccer club owned by Salma Hayek’s husband, François-Henri Pinault. The reason why I’m mentioning the club owner is that since he’s been in charge, Rennes has been focusing on its youth academy.

Camavinga inked his first professional contract in 2018 when he was only 16 years and one month old. Less than six months later, he made his debut for Rennes, thus becoming the youngest player in the club’s history.

Soon after making his debut in Rennes’ first team, he established himself as one of their crucial players. By playing constantly on a high level, Camavinga received an invite to the French national team in 2020.

He was only seventeen when he made his international debut, thus becoming the youngest French player to play in the senior team since 1914.

A month after his international debut, we saw Camavinga scoring his first-ever goal for France. It happened in the friendly against Ukraine, which the French won 7-1.

Real-Life Rags to Riches Story

Although he’s representing France on the international level, Camavinga was actually born in Angola. That’s where his parents fled from DR Congo.

The place of his birth is the Miconge refugee camp where his family lived after escaping their native country due to the Second Congo War.

Two years after his birth, the family got a French visa, moving to a town in northwestern France called Fougères. That’s where Camavinga made his first soccer steps, but considering that the town is just 30 miles away from Rennes, that city was his next destination.

He was only 11 when he joined the Rennes youth academy. The future looked bright for the Camavinga family, but then, their house burned down. They became homeless and had to live off charity for months.

“Don’t worry, you’re going to be a great footballer and will rebuild this house.”

Those were the words Eduardo’s father used to comfort the 11-year-old.

Eduardo found refuge from problems on the soccer pitch. Over the next five years, practice with the Rennes youth team became his #1 focus.

Needless to say, the hard work paid off. In 2018, he signed a professional contract with Rennes, with wages measured in thousands of dollars. Three years later, he signed a deal with Real Madrid, where his estimated salary is measured in millions.

What Camavinga Brings to Real Madrid

Even though he’s very young, Camavinga doesn’t show it on the pitch. Watching him play would make you think he’s an experienced player who’s been through a lot. The guy doesn’t fold under pressure, nor does he lose his nerves when things get rough.

His focus might be one of his strongest points from a mental perspective. However, it’s his technical ability that put him on the radar of Real Madrid scouts.

Playing the role of a central midfielder, Camavinga is great at positioning, with a flair for picking a pass. He seems equally adept in performing both attacking and defensive duties, for which he’s drawn a comparison with his teammate from the France national team, N’Golo Kanté.

Camavinga is also physically superior to most other midfielders. He’s strong, fast, and very endurable. Plus, being a 6-footer (who might grow even taller), he’s also very good in the air. 

Real Madrid’s Future with Eduardo Camavinga

Camavinga’s arrival is seen as an investment for the future. After all, his contract with Real Madrid doesn’t expire until 2027.

However, he probably already has the quality to be an important player even in such a big club as Real Madrid. He probably isn’t going to get a starting role straight away, but it’s likely that he will feature in, at least, some games this season.

In a few years’ time, he’ll probably be a starter. The reason isn’t just that everyone expects him to improve even further; it’s also because Real Madrid’s current midfielders are getting old.

Some of Real Madrid midfielders are already pretty old – Luka Modric turns 36 in a couple of days, Toni Kroos is going to be 32 in January, and Casemiro celebrates his 30th birthday in February.

Camavinga, on the other hand, is turning only 19 in November. Still, despite being very young, he isn’t the youngest player in Real Madrid’s first team. Brazilian forward, Rodrygo is younger (born in 2001). Then, there’s also Vinicius Junior, another forward, who’s just a couple of months older than Camavinga.

Having such players on the roster is an obvious sign that Los Blancos are planning ahead.

They’re not too bothered about what happens in 2021-22, but they want to make sure the titles will be coming their way in the future.

Another proof that this is Real Madrid’s strategy is their coach this season is Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian manager is famously great with youngsters.

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