Eduardo Camavinga produced a record-breaking performance at left-back despite never playing there
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Eduardo Camavinga made his first professional appearance as a left-back in France's 1-0 defeat to Tunisia at the World Cup. To say he exceeded all expectations would be an understatement.
Didier Deschamps opted to make nine changes from the side that defeated Denmark to seal qualification from Group C on Saturday.
One of those changes saw Camavinga come in at left-back in place of Theo Hernandez. Camavinga is the third left-back in as many games following Lucas Hernandez's ACL injury in their opening group game versus Australia.
Camavinga has made 140 professional appearances. They've all come in his preferred central midfield position rather than left-back. If you think that stopped the Real Madrid man from giving it his all, think again.
Considering Camavinga isn't a wide player by trade, his ability to sense danger in those positions has to be admired. In the first half, Tunisia defender Nader Ghandri peeled away at the back post and looked certain to give Jalel Kadri's side the lead. Camavinga spotted the danger, getting down low to head away for a corner.
The 20-year-old won a whopping 18 across 90 minutes. That's the most recorded in a World Cup match in Sofascore's database, which extends back to 1966.
Player Rating - 8/10:
Camavinga stifled Wajdi Kechrida, who was likely relishing the chance to get at France's backline without either Hernandez brother in the line-up. A tough opening 10 minutes slightly detracts from what was a quality performance on the whole.
What was said about their performance?
Supporters on social media were very impressed with the Champions League winner's showing in an unfamilar position.
One person commented: "They're going to start giving Carlo [Ancelotti, Real Madrid manager] ideas.
Another said: "Cama is at Real Madrid to succeed Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro. At this rate it'll be Marcelo too."
While a third tweeted: "Whoever is playing that position for France should be very careful because camavinga had sent a great message."
Camavinga playing as a LB vs Tunisia pic.twitter.com/nvuyuwpGFj— WolfRMFC (@WolfRMFC) November 30, 2022
We all know how stacked the France national team is. Even without Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante in Qatar, Adrien Rabiot and Aurelien Tchouameni are ahead of Camavinga in the pecking order right now.
Antoine Griezmann's importance further up the pitch further complicates matters. Becoming an auxiliary left-back for the rest of this tournament could help Camavinga establish himself in the international set-up.