The Malaga-born player has been named Real Madrid’s best player of December, taking over from Jude Bellingham and Rodrygo thanks to his numbers and performances.
“Thank you Madridistas,” Brahim Diaz (24) said, thanking his fans for their support. The Real Madrid fans have a love affair with the Malaga-born player, as evidenced by his recent award as the club’s best player for December.
In a fan vote, Brahim was chosen as the best White player, the Mahou Five-Star Player, of December. Two goals (Granada and Villarreal), an assist (Betis), and an upward trend in performance that has changed his label (he started four of the five games) have earned him the MVP title. Bellingham won the first few months, November was for Rodrygo, and now it’s Brahim’s turn.
A reward for resilience. Because the Malaga-born player’s season started out rough, even though now only the rose petal can be seen. He was one of the most impressive players in preseason, but when all the attacking pieces began to click (Vinicius and Rodrygo started training in Los Angeles), Brahim’s playing time began to dwindle in the summer until he started the season with a difficult outlook. In the first six games, he only played 26 minutes. Being seen as the natural replacement for a Bellingham playing as a central midfielder was a major setback. However, Brahim made the most of his appearances until Las Palmas came around. Jude rested and the Malaga-born player enjoyed his first start. Despite his dislocated shoulder (which still bothers him), he didn’t back down. The result was a goal to open the scoring and the first standing ovation from the Bernabéu. An ongoing love affair with the stands ever since.
When things were going from bad to worse, Brahim didn’t let up. His performance was exceeding his continuity, and Ancelotti even admitted that it was “unfair” to not give the 21-year-old more opportunities. Injuries began to open doors. Without Vinicius, the attack was thinning out. Without Tchouameni and Camavinga, Carletto redesigned his formation. Where before Brahim was the backup Bellingham as the tip of the diamond, now he could also be a complement. In a 4-4-2 with the Stourbridge native on the left. More possibilities, backed by his hard work. “His time in Milan did him a lot of good, defensively he has worked hard and he has returned in optimal tactical condition. He always positions himself well without the ball. It’s rare to see that in a forward of his quality,” said an Ancelotti who was delighted with this Italian version of Brahim.
And then everything changed
In November, things began to change. He scored against Braga and assisted against Napoli, adding statistics to the intangibles. But it was in December where he really took off. He started four (Granada, Betis, Villarreal, and Alavés) of the five games (he only came off the bench against Union Berlin). The goal that opened the scoring against the Nazarí side, a pinpoint assist to Bellingham in the draw against Betis, and his Maradona-esque goal against Villarreal (“Brahim’s individuality… Well, that was the icing on the cake. Spectacular,” summarized Ancelotti; “one of the best of my career,” smiled the attacker). One match as a left midfielder, one as a central midfielder, one as a forward, and one as a right midfielder. In total, four goals and two assists in 665 minutes, participating in a goal every 110.8 minutes. Versatility, attitude, and verticality as keys to continuity when the infirmary loses its overbooking. Brahim has conquered the Tourmalet and will begin 2024 with the slope in his favor.