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Lucas Vazquez is so loved and so criticised

Real Madrid He remains a divisive player

Lucas Vazquez is a player of contrasts.

Opinions of the Spaniard differ widely and, again, he showed against Club Brugge that he is an important player in the view of Zinedine Zidane.

He’s a regularly called-upon resource for the Frenchman, often his first change during a match or the first player to come in when rotations are needed.

But there’s a part of the Real Madrid support that finds his inclusion in any starting XI incomprehensible.

His performances are often criticised, with his ability questioned after almost every appearance.

If Lucas were only given games by Zidane then maybe the argument of preferential treatment could be made, but the Galician was also trusted by both Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari.

Each valued his work rate and it’s no coincidence that every coach who has had him at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu has given him time on the pitch.

Lucas looks after himself, he’s an excellent professional and he has a good relationship with the dressing room so his importance to the squad is clear.

The club have been clear about his position, but discontent still surrounds him.

Every time he plays instead of one of the new faces, questions are asked and fingers are pointed.

Why not Vinicius or Rodrygo? What about Takefusa Kubo or Martin Odegaard? That’s what they say.

So important yet so criticised, Lucas is spending another season at Real Madrid without anything changing.

His role remains the same, those who support him are still with him, and those who criticise him aren’t changing their position at all.

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