- World Cup loss impacted Valverde's form
- Uruguay failed to get out of group
- Hasn't scored for Madrid in three months
WHAT HAPPENED? Valverde has struggled in recent weeks, failing to register a goal or assist since the World Cup, a byproduct of Madrid's poor form that has Los Blancos slipping in the La Liga title race. Carlo Ancelotti has tried to use the midfielder at numerous positions to help him to rediscover some of his electric pre World-Cup form, but the player hasn't been able to recapture those levels thus far.
WHAT THEY SAID: Valverde admitted his performances haven't been up to scratch in a press conference on Tuesday. "The World Cup affected me," Valverde said. "When you go for a goal, you have such illusion and optimism that everything will go well with your country, you go with the dream of a child representing millions of people to try to go as far as possible and fighting to win Not being able to do it makes you sad. Everything we work on seems to have been of no use and it hurts."
Valverde also acknowledged that he had to work through the rough patch: "Good things don't always happen in football and you have to know how to handle it. I arrived with a very good performance and It's not the same now, but it's part of football," Valverde said.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Valverde was in the best form of his career before the World Cup, tallying 12 goal contributions in all competitions, eclipsing his 2021-22 total.
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WHAT NEXT FOR VALVERDE? Ancelotti has continued to back Valverde despite his slump, and the midfielder is likely to be in the starting XI as Real Madrid face Al Ahly in the Club World Cup.