In a Paris Saint-Germain team that includes players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria, Thiago Silva and Marco Verratti, it can be easy to overlook midfielder Blaise Matuidi. However, the France international may just be as important to his club as any of the aforementioned players. No, Matuidi doesn’t score double-digit goals per season, nor is he the flashiest player in the side, but the 28-year-old is technically sound and provides the Parisians with stability in the middle of the pitch.
Bought from Saint-Etienne for about €8 million in 2011 as a replacement for the retiring Claude Makélélé (who happens to be Matuidi’s role model), Matuidi quickly made a positive impact on his new club. Following his debut season with PSG in which he featured in 35 total matches, the midfielder settled in and has become an essential part of the club that has won three consecutive Ligue 1 titles. Matuidi’s outstanding individual effort was also recognized by his inclusion in the 2012-13 Ligue 1 Team of the Year.
A central midfielder, Matuidi is a physical player with a high work rate. While many fans and pundits appreciate his tough-tackling, defensive-minded play, Matuidi can also be a solid outlet to his teammates with outstanding vision and passing ability. Perhaps one of the more underrated midfielders in all of Europe, the Frenchman is essentially a complete player in his position.
Matuidi’s France international teammate, Morgan Schneiderlin, raved about the PSG player following the recent international break. ”Matuidi is such a good player,” the new Manchester United player told L’Equipe. “He is maybe not the biggest name in the PSG team but, in my view, he is the most important player for them.”
“I am not so much impressed or surprised by his performances, because I know him well and know what he is capable of,” Schneiderlin continued. “Having played against him in preseason, I can tell you that when you come up against a midfielder like that, it is very difficult for the opposition. And he is now scoring goals as well, which completes his game.”
Despite his accolades and capability as a top-notch midfielder, Matuidi has somehow managed to remain under the radar. Nevertheless, with PSG potentially set for a big season, both in Ligue 1 and the Champions League, the 28-year-old midfielder may finally begin to receive the recognition that he has rightly deserved. Matuidi is already off to a fantastic start, as he has already netted two goals and added two assists in just four league matches so far this campaign.
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