Since Zidane granted him the title in the match against Osasuna, Valverde has gradually deployed its virtues. Positioning, sacrifice in defense, area-to-area travel and, apparently in the Classic, shooting. The Uruguayan was Real Madrid’s second finisher at the Camp Nou, with three attempts, one less than Casemiro (the Brazilian, like the charrúa, also looks each time at the rival goal).
Valverde’s finishers put Barcelona in trouble. The first, in ’31’, was a warning of what was to come. A right-hand volley from more than 25 meters left to the left of Ter Stegen’s goal. Before the break, the Uruguayan seasoned his aim and with another forehand, this time from almost the crescent, he put to the test the attention of the goalkeeper Azulgrana, who attacked in two times. In ’54’, from a position similar to his first attempt, Piqué deflected his shot to the corner.
Three shots to improve his average attempts. With the triple attempt of the Classic, Valverde signs one shot every 51.5 minutes on average. Ten teammates from the current squad finish more often than Uruguayan. In Barcelona he proved his qualities and Alvaro Benito claimed in Carrusel Deportivo that the 15 be projected more towards the rival goal. “Valverde has an instep hit… He does it without difficulty. He has to dig deeper into the shot,” the AS columnist said. Mijatovic, also in THE SER, was more concise: “He’s got a perfect shot.” This season Valverde already has two goals, both in Liga: Eibar and Real Sociedad. He has totaled 20 attempts: six rejected by defenders, seven on the doorstep and seven out.
At the Camp Nou he became the eighth player to surpass 1,000 minutes with Madrid this season. It’s 1,030′ and has overtaken Hazard, punished to intermittency for injuries. That first title against Osasuna, back on September 25, seemed an appearance, the first, as a member of Unit B. He had only played 22 minutes until then, having started the League without even being called up against Celta. He convinced Zidane, who devoted praise to him after that match and, by surprise, trusted him again for the derby. He has earned a fixed place in eleven and has relegated Modric to his replacement. Valverde took his cannon.