Taking into account everything that has happened this season, it took me a while to come out with grades that I feel were fair. There were quite a few things to take into consideration such as injuries and lack of playing time, which resulted in lower scores simply because some players played less than others. Either way, please find below my grading of all Real Madrid players this season and a short description of their year.
Keylor Navas: A+
What a season this man has had! Going from packing his bags in order to join Manchester United to being one of the most important players in the Real Madrid starting lineup, Keylor Navas has practically cemented his place as the Number One at the Los Blancos camp after saving them numerous times as he was a crucial part of why Real Madrid did as well as they did.
Kiko Casilla: C
The substitute goalkeeper didn’t have many chances to impress but he did quite well whenever he was called upon. There is no denying that he is a fantastic backup to have and would probably walk into the starting lineup of many other teams in Europe. Hopefully, we will be able to see more of him next season.
Pepe has had a lot of ups and downs in recent seasons but this season as been great for him over all! It is important to note that when I say “ups and downs” I am referring to managers opting not to play him as often as he deserves to be rather than him having a dip in form. The Portuguese defender has been extremely consistent and has never let us down.
Sergio Ramos: B
A leader on and off the pitch, Sergio Ramos has been able to show just how good he really is. Having said that, he had a couple injuries and his tackling has hurt us quite a few times this year whether it ended up in a penalty for the opposition or him getting sent off. Especially when captaining a team, he needs to calm down while on the pitch and not let certain situations get to him.
Never one to steal the spotlight, Nacho is the type of player that loves sticking to his game and doing his job. The Spaniard is always more than happy waiting for his chance and coming out with a fantastic display whenever the manager needs him. He has been a great backup for the squad and there is no doubting the fact that he deserves more minutes on the pitch.
Raphael Varane: C+
A forgettable season for Raphael Varane as the Frenchman failed to cement his place in the starting lineup ahead of Pepe and Sergio Ramos. He has gotten opportunities to showcase his capabilities but it seems like this was just one of those seasons for him as injuries played their part as well. Varane had a few shaky moments and questionable decisions that led to me having to give him an average grade for the year.
I think that we can all agree that Marcelo’s defending isn’t the best around and that has been the case for a few years. With that said, his contribution to the attack is priceless and he has shown just why the manager depends on him. The problem is that Real Madrid do need a backup for the position but not a replacement for the Brazilian who has continued to show his loyalty and dedication to this team.
Alvaro Arbeloa: D-
Little doubt that Alvaro Arbeloa would be the man who comes out with the lowest grade this season and this is mainly due to his lack of playing time. Unfortunately, his season will probably be defined by his poor decision making in the match against Atletico Madrid, which ended up in the opposition scoring the equalizing goal on the night. This is a man who has given so much to Real Madrid and, even though he does come out with a low grade, there is still do much to be thankful for as he departs the squad this summer.
Daniel Carvajal: A
The only thing keeping me away from giving Daniel Carvajal an “A+” is his unfortunate luck with injuries, which has kept him out for quite a few games this year. Whenever he’s on the pitch though, his performances have been nothing short of incredible and it’s very obvious that the team relies on him a lot. In my opinion, we are now talking about the best right-back in the world and he has done so much to merit that title.
Danilo came into the squad with a lot of promise and he seemed like he was on his way to fulfilling that promise during his time under Rafael Benitez. Things then took a nasty turn and his shaky defending and poor decision making have made him one of the players under heavy criticism from the fans towards the end of the season. It hasn’t been a great year for him and it remains to be seen whether he will be in the team next season…
Carlos Casemiro: A+
There is simply no doubt in anybody’s mind that this season has been Carlos Casemiro’s season. The Brazilian defensive midfielder had to cement his place in the starting lineup twice; once under Rafael Benitez and another under Zinedine Zidane and he was able to do it all perfectly. What a year for him!
Toni Kroos: B
During the first half of the season, Toni Kroos wasn’t really at his best. This could be down to the fact that having Benitez as a manager wasn’t working out for him, I’m not sure. Either way, it just wasn’t a great start. At the turn of the year though, that has all changed and he has shown everyone that there is simply no one else in the world who can do what he does as he became quite indispensable to the squad once again.
Luka Modric: A+
Luka Modric is one of our greatest players, there is simply no doubt about that. Having gone from being called the “Worst Transfer of the Season” when he first signed to being one of the greatest midfielders in our generation, Modric has been brilliant all season and deserves all of the recognition that comes his way.
Mateo Kovacic: C-
The hype was there when Real Madrid first signed Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan but he simply didn’t get the opportunities to show what he was capable of, especially under Zinedine Zidane. When a player lacks that much match time, it’s very understandable that no one can really find a standout performance from the Croatian. Unfortunately, I would be a little surprised to see him in a Real Madrid shirt at the end of the summer.
There was a little debate on what grade I wanted to give Isco since it has been a pretty confusing season for the Spaniard. Under Zidane, it seems like Isco has found himself again and is slowly (but surely) gaining the trust of his manager. He hasn’t gotten as much playing time as he would have hoped for but I don’t see any reason for him to leave the club anytime soon.
James Rodriguez: D+
My grading for James Rodriguez might be a tad harsh but, even though he started the season quite strongly, things went downhill for the Colombian ever since. He has found himself benched by Zinedine Zidane and only playing a small role in the majority of the season. I’m not really sure that we will be seeing him next year…
We haven’t really seen too much of Jese this year but, whenever we did, he usually impressed. Unfortunately for him though, things do not seem to be going in the correct direction as he is still not in contention to be a part of the starting lineup. Will he be leaving in the summer? I guess we have to wait and see…
Gareth Bale: A
Injuries are the only things keeping Gareth Bale away from an even higher grade. The Welshman was on absolute fire this season and stepped up every single time he needed to. He seems to be a lot more comfortable on the ball and with his teammates. Bale has a lot more to offer and it will be exciting to see what he is capable of next season!
Lucas Vazquez: A+
What a year for Lucas Vazquez! The young Spanish winger was able to get the confidence of Zinedine Zidane and has been able to repay his faith at every single opportunity. With his great performances this season, he was able to get called up to the Spanish National Team as they prepare for the EURO 2016! Vazquez has a wonderful career ahead of him.
Cristiano Ronaldo: A-
Was this his greatest season? Definitely not. During the beginning of the season, Cristiano Ronaldo was not himself. He was able to score his usual goals but it was against the smaller teams as he disappeared against bigger opposition such as Atletico Madrid or Barcelona. During the second half of the season though, he was reborn and showed everyone that he is still a force to be reckoned with after some great goals against the bigger teams and an unforgettable hat-trick against Wolfsburg that made our “Undecima” dreams come true.
Karim Benzema: B+
He would have probably gotten a higher grade if it wasn’t for his injuries. Karim Benzema has had his best Real Madrid season so far with 24 goals in La Liga. The Frenchman’s season was plagued with injuries and a court case that ended his chances of going ot the EURO but he will definitely remember it due to his exceptional season and the Undecima.