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Player ratings: Athletic Bilbao 0 - 2 Real Madrid; La Liga 2023

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Real Madrid traveled to Bilbao to play in the San Games package, but managed to secure the three points thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos, while the likes of Eduardo Camavinga, Nacho and Ceballos capitalized on their opportunities.

Full player rankings from the match below:

Thibaut Courtois—7.5: Produced a great initial save from an Athletic set-piece from an Aitor Paredes header. The Belgian and madridista defense kept Athletic off the scoreboard despite an xG of 1.16.

Nacho—9: What more can you ask of Nacho? Despite not playing for months, he breaks from the periphery of the team in an unusual right-back position and delivers a commanding performance. He sets the defensive tone with tackles and a no-nonsense Sergio Ramos attitude. On the ball, he always made an “active” first touch, knowing where he wanted to go before receiving and never stopping the dead ball. Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez have a lot of work to do trying to get back on the team.

Eder Militão—8: It’s always fun to see Eder Militão face Inaki Williams. Eder normally comes out on top and today too – he was aggressive with his outs and looked as quick as Inaki whenever placed in a race.

Toni Rudiger—7: He continued to show nerves while playing in defense and under pressure, but he was a strong defensively. He made a crucial break from a near-perfect Athletic cross in the 51st minute. He grew as the game progressed and helped secure a clean sheet.

Ferland Mendy—7: It looks like the Frenchman has been told to get more involved in the attack and make more overlapping runs. Just like against Villarreal, there was a perfect cut for Benzema at the edge of the area that almost ended in a goal.

Eduardo Camavinga—9.5: MOTM – Playing as a lone center or defensive midfielder in a midfield three, Camavinga was excellent. A ball winning machine, tempo setter and line breaker all rolled into one. Ancelotti praised the 20-year-old after the match and rightly so.

Dani Ceballos—8.5: Great opportunity to restart Toni Kroos and the Spaniard seized the opportunity. He was a constant in the construction of Real Madrid on the left and central sides of the pitch. He finished the game with 78 touches (game high), 51 passes with 93% pass accuracy (game high), 8/8 completed long balls, and had 3 tackles + 3 clearances. He was the overall midfielder and made a big change.

Fede Valverde—7: He was involved in both goals – the cross for Asensio to Benzema’s acrobatic finish and the link-up with Rodrygo before Kroos’s perfect strike. He completed 2 of 2 dribbles and ended the match with the highest progressive carries and progressive passes.

Marcus Asensio—6.5: He nearly finished off a cross from Valverde that resulted in the first goal. He narrowly missed scoring the second goal of the match, after linking up with Benzema and trying a first-time shot with his right foot.

Vinicius Junior—5: Let the referee, fans and opposing players get in your head too much. He seems distracted and once again trying to do too much.

Karim Benzema—6: Scored a spectacular goal but still shows some signs of rust after his long injury break.

Substitutions:

Toni Kroos—8: He scored a goal that defies physics, skirting his body to reach a ball that was behind him and hitting the shot into the bottom corner.

Luka Modric—6: Helped provide more control in midfield to end the games.

Rodrigo—7: Got an assist just 7 minutes into the game after joining Fede and feeding Kroos on the edge of the box.

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