"Killer attacker, Icardi made Cavani his first victim"

In lack of rhythm, certainly diminished by the doubts, Edinson Cavani plays only bits of match. BERTRAND GUAY / AFP

CHRONIC. We can therefore be the best scorer in the history of a football club and, even before showing any sign of decline, see this club put you in the paws a competitor with a formidable profile, calibrated to give him the 'advantage.

On the eve of Paris-Saint-Germain's move to Real Madrid on Tuesday 26 November in the Champions League, Edinson Cavani is not even in the debate about the composition of the trio of attackers Thomas Tuchel will line up: Mbappé , Neymar, Di Maria and Icardi compete for these places, the number 9 will have only the choice of his on the bench.

The course of the Uruguayan in Paris, whose bitter end is taking shape, has been anything but a sinecure. Zlatan Ibrahimovic first took the axis and the light, and after a season of respite, during which he broke his efficiency records (2016-2017), he saw the megastars Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappe land.

The "MCN" scored a lot, but Cavani was often the invisible man for his partners, the one they could not find, as if their programs were not written in the same code.

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Icardi, minimalist scorer

Mauro Icardi offers a solution to the apparent inability of the fabulous Paris strikers to play with a classic center-forward: he seeks himself very little to play, and does not need it. Against Lille, he scored on his third ball, and posted this season a record performance in this area.

In a football that tends to program the obsolescence of the pure advanced attackers for the benefit of the dynamite, fast and dribbling, Icardi is doing well by opting for a minimalist version of the opportunistic scorer.

The Argentinian will not encroach on the area of ​​his attacking companions and, when he must still participate in the game, he evolves less as a "pivot" than as a skillful dealer. He is not even the type to "multiply calls" – but he chooses them well.

With a science of placement that has nothing to envy to that of his rival, and a displacement economy that benefits its clinical effectiveness, Icardi pushes far the stereotype of the scorer "Do not see the match"but that arises from nothingness to mark. A killer attacker, he made Cavani his first victim.

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A regrettable mess

In comparison, the ceaseless activity of Cavani seems vain. His stalls, his calls, his defensive folds would be better appreciated in other clubs, but in Paris, where the stars are exempted from ungrateful tasks, it is not credited to him.

Then sarcasm resurfaces: one retains his missed opportunities, sometimes spectacular, without considering that with his incomparable capacity to be created of it, his service records have very few equivalents in the elite. All the more so for the duration of his ten seasons in Naples and Paris, never less than 25 goals.

This is not only an offense to the footballer, but also a regrettable mess, that of the stacking of exceptional players in the squad of teams unable to align them all. And who, thus, deprive other teams (this is also the goal) at the same time as football fans.

In lack of rhythm, certainly reduced by the doubts, "Edi" only plays bits of match, and when he is finally tenured, against Brest on November 9, it is to see his competitor enter and score in stride. From the "Matador" statue to substitute status, there was only the thickness of a match sheet.

A special place

Maybe Icardi will not confirm his current success. In football, the truths of the moment are set as definitive truths, but their durability is variable. They can, however, have immediate consequences. Already, the hypothesis of an anticipated departure of Cavani, this winter, assumes consistency.

It was rather a smooth succession, the gradual integration of Icardi (26 years) leading to a departure in majesty for Cavani (32 years). The long-lasting injury of the latter-unusual in his career – was right in this scenario by letting the first win on the field with the same authority as before the goal.

Even a whole season in this intermittent role would have a bitter taste. For now, he remains silent, not unaware that in such clubs, there is little room for feelings. Cavani has sometimes expressed moods in the past, but he has always survived by clenching his teeth. He has earned an attachment from the Parisian fans that ensures – beyond statistics – a special place in the history of the club. A place that does not give in.

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