World Cup 2022: Europe’s elite is chasing the masked man

“It was felt at the time that Gvardiol wasn’t fast enough to be an elite left-back and at the same time too small to be successful as a centre-back,” explains Baicu. “Mainly because the top clubs back then wanted their central defenders to be as big as possible. Still, you could tell by the way he read the game and behaved in one-on-ones that he had the fundamentals to go very, very far.”

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