After renewing his contract just over a month ago until 2027, Fede Valverde has become the Real Madrid player with the longest deal in place as he is considered by the club as one of the pillars around whom they want to build their team for the future.
In fact, no Real Madrid midfielder has spent more minutes on the pitch this season than Valverde (788 minutes), who is followed by Casemiro (673), Luka Modric (411), Eduardo Camavinga (252) and Toni Kroos (24).
Modric and Kroos may have missed a few games through injury, but, to put it in perspective, only Thibaut Courtois (810) and Eder Militao (810) have been given more playing time than Valverde this season.
The Uruguay international is, along with Militao, Courtois and Benzema, the only player to have started all Real Madrid games in 2021/22, even playing at right-back against Villarreal.
His pace and agility allow Real Madrid to break fast on the counter, with Valverde one of the players to make a difference in open play situations as he always finds himself with space to cross or even unleash a strike towards the goal.
Carlo Ancelotti has a spot in the starting line-up reserved for the Uruguayan midfielder either in a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 formation, as he admires the player's firm commitment to the team.
Valverde's rapid rise
Valverde spent a couple of years plying his trade at Castilla and then Deportivo La Coruna before joining Real Madrid's seniors in the summer of 2018.
He gradually established himself into Los Blancos' line-up and he played as many as 44 games in 2019/20 when the team won LaLiga Santander under Zinedine Zidane.
Valverde was placed on the radar of various European clubs, with Real Madrid turning down Bayern Munich's interest in the Uruguay international, whom they tied down to a long-term deal in summer.
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