Dayot Upamecano: Rio Ferdinand hails ‘formidable’ Leipzig defender after Champions League display

The young defender completely dominated Diego Costa

Karl Matchett
Friday 14 August 2020 16:11
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Champions League quarter-final draw

RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano earned praise from former England centre-back Rio Ferdinand after a superb display in the Champions League.

The French 21-year-old was faultless at the back in the quarter-final, helping his team progress to the last four after a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid.

Despite being tracked by a host of clubs around Europe over the past couple of years Upamecano signed a new contract to stay at Leipzig recently—where he’ll continue to earn admirers with this level of performance.

“Upamecano was the best player tonight, he was formidable on the pitch,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.

“But they were all defending for their lives.

“They matched up with Atletico. You need heart and desire and they all showed that especially late on in the game.”

Fellow pundit Jermaine Jenas added that there was “no point” in Atletico striker Diego Costa even being out on the pitch, such was the level of dominance that Upamecano enjoyed.

“It looks so easy to him the game. He looks like he is playing with his mates and that’s when you know you’ve got a good player.”

Upamecano is capped at U21 level for France but has not yet earned a senior cap.

He ended the match as the Leipzig starter with the joint-most clearances, tackles, aerial wins and interceptions against Atletico, as well as a 90 per cent pass completion rate and the second-highest total dribbles, to highlight his all-round impressiveness.

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