Yes, it’s true, he cost 80 million, but it’s still surprising that a 22-year-old player from Monaco, who has played 99 games in Ligue 1, has taken the place of Casemiro, the untouchable holding midfielder who had no competition in Real Madrid’s most successful period since Alfredo Di Stefano, with such ease.
The derby at the Estadio Civitas Metropolitano reinforced the good start for the Frenchman, who has only missed the Super Cup final and the LaLiga Santander clash against Real Mallorca.
If everything is going smoothly for Tchouameni, the path ahead is, however, still to be travelled. The midfielder is well aware of this and has one of his points of reference in the late Kobe Bryant, and in particular a phrase that left its mark on him.
He was nine years old and wasn’t even at Bordeaux at the time, but that phrase was engraved in his heart. “The job’s not finished,” the former Lakers player replied to a journalist’s question after his team went 2-0 up in the 2009 NBA Finals.
The series, by the way, went to the final five games. Kobe’s phrase went down in history and is still engraved in the Staples Center and is always remembered.
For Aurelien, the NBA is indeed a passion, but also a reference in terms of the work the athletes put in.
“I watch videos of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. They are sports legends. We can’t rest for a moment,” Tchouameni explained in his introductory press conference in Madrid.
“My day to day is always to work to the maximum and to improve.”
The Real Madrid emergence that changed everything
Tchouameni’s stellar emergence came as no surprise to scouts who have been following him for some time. He was a player who, for most clubs, had everything required to succeed and, in fact, from a very young age, he stood out from the rest.
He was therefore on the radar of all the big clubs, but there was one match that accelerated everything and put Madrid on alert, the Nations League final between Spain and France.
Didier Deschamps called him up and, although he did not start, the absence of N’Golo Kante catapulted him to the point where he is now a permanent fixture for Les Bleus ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.
MARCA reported on 11 October 2021, just after the final, that the player was on the radar of Juni Calafat, the club’s chief scout.
The week after the final, the phone of his agent, Jonathan Kebe, was ringing off the hook. The big clubs wanted to close a deal as soon as possible.
Real Madrid then positioned themselves for a summer assault and the moment when Tchouameni understood that the club was serious about him was the turning point.
The team’s comebacks in the Champions League seduced him and although Liverpool already seen him at Anfiled, after Klopp’s insistence, the midfielder decided that his place was at Madrid and gave the order to his agent after seeing another magical night at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
The club also understood that he would need to be a priority reinforcement, not only because of Casemiro‘s departure at the end of the market, but also because it was clear that, especially in a World Cup year, it was necessary to start rebuilding their midfield given Luka Modric‘s age and the likely departure of Toni Kroos when his contract expires on June 30.
Kylian Mbappe‘s refusal to sign accelerated the deal, but Real Madrid had already made more than enough progress to convince both Tchouameni and his agent.
Not even Benzema, Vini, or Varane were so impressive so quickly
After nine games, it is a reality that few players at his age have settled in so quickly. Raul Gonzalez, even younger, is perhaps one who stands above the Frenchman, but there are the cases of Karim Benzema, Raphael Varane, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, and now Eduardo Camavinga who all needed a year or more to settle in the Spanish capital.
Within the club they believe it is his mentality and unbridled ambition that helps him play with such confidence. Carlo Ancelotti has already highlighted his intelligence and maturity for his age in a press conference.
“He’s just intelligent, that’s all, he’s interested and asks a lot of questions,” the coach said after the win over Leipzig.
It is said that when Tchouameni visited the trophy room with Florentino Perez and stopped in front of the shelf with the 14 Champons League titles, the player, instead of being impressed, made the following challenge to the president.
“I came here to win more,” were his words.
His level of self-demand is at its maximum and if, as Kobe says, the job is not done, the Frenchman has made it clear to his team that he will be a starter for a long time.
We want to thank the author of this short article for this outstanding content
Kobe Bryant's phrase that inspires Tchouameni: The job's not finished
Take a look at our social media accounts and other related pageshttps://topfut.com/related-pages/