Is Benjamin Pavard overrated? Has the right-back lived up to his potential?
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Introducing Benjamin Pavard – a French international who currently plays for Bayern Munich. He is 25 years old at the time of writing, and already, he has had quite an impact in football. Playing primarily as a right-back, he is a force to be reckoned with on the field. This has led to Pavard being listed in the starting lineups for both Bayern and France with amazing regularity. Of course, you don’t get to play for such teams without being a seriously talented player.
He started his career at Lille back in 2015. Having played just one season for the club, he was snatched up by VfB Stuttgart to play in the Bundesliga 2nd tier. This occurred in 2016, and during his first season, he helped VfB Stuttgart to gain promotion to the Bundesliga. Although he was given a four-year deal at Stuttgart, he ended his time short. A certain team by the name of Bayern Munich signed him in 2019. That’s where he has remained to this day, and he is contracted at the club through 2024.
All of this is promising, but people still debate whether Pavard has lived up to the hype. We’d like to put this topic to bed right now.
Pavard – a great success or a letdown?
We believe that Pavard is a guy that has lived up to the hype. He has remained focused and consistent throughout his career. And at 25 years of age, there is plenty more that he can achieve. However, to gauge whether he has lived up to expectations, we can only look at what he has already done. This is discussed below.
Pavard has a number of accolades already. Perhaps the most impressive of these is his Goal of the Tournament award for the 2018 World Cup. He managed to strike a half-volley from outside of the box to give France the win over Argentina. This occurred in a 4-3 victory during the last 16 stage of the event – not bad for a defender! Of course, Pavard was instantly hailed as a hero in France, and the team ultimately went on to win the tournament.
In addition to this, Pavard was named as part of the Champions League Breakthrough XI for 2019. This is an award given to promising youngsters who would hypothetically feature in a starting 11 for the Champions League. Again, this doesn’t happen by accident, and it showed what a talent Pavard was even back then. Finally, he was also named as a key feature in the Bundesliga Team of the Season award (19/20), as presented by Kicker.
Looking at Pavard’s club success, his track record is pretty awesome. He started out on the right track by gaining promotion to the Bundesliga with Stuttgart during the 16/17 season. From here, things have only gotten better. Since he made the move to Bayern, he has become a Champions League winner and a two-time Bundesliga winner. Pavard featured in most key matches for these successes too, which shows that his contributions have been pivotal.
Additionally, Pavard scored the one and only goal for Bayern to win the FIFA Club World Cup in 2020/2021. This occurred when Pavard found the back of the net against Tigres UANL in February 2021. Once again, Pavard became the hometown legend, although his international achievements overshadow even this.
The biggest achievement of Pavard’s career came when France won the 2018 World Cup. Amazingly, Pavard started every single game bar one, which was a group stage game against Denmark. Of course, the fact that he was picked for the starting 11 in every game besides this one shows how crucial his contributions were deemed to be. It was also this tournament where Pavard hit home the goal of the tournament against Argentina, as mentioned previously.
Impressively, this made Pavard the first defender to score a World Cup goal for France since 1998. Coincidentally, France also won the World Cup that year. After their 2018 World Cup success, France was the favourite to win the Euro 2020 event too. Ultimately, they fell at the last 16 stage to Switzerland. And unfortunately for Pavard, he suffered a head injury in France’s first game. Naturally, this impacted his ability to perform at his normal level.
Whether Pavard’s inability to perform at 100% created a major chink in France’s defensive armour is open to debate. But regardless, it is clear that France needs a guy of this talent in the lineup to take down big teams.