When was the first time you heard the name Benjamin Pavard? Most likely during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Before the tournament, the right-back wasn’t considered a superstar or even a top defender. All this changed in the course of one summer.
At the start of the 2017/18 season, if someone was asked to list a few top right-backs, what would they say? Most would go with Dani Alves, Joshua Kimmich, Dani Carvajal… but rarely anyone would mention Benjamin Pavard.
Only two years ago, the 22-year-old was hanging out with his friends in the public fan zone while watching the Euro 2016. The question is, how did the full-back rise to the top in such a short period of time?
Pavard has something very special in him that many players don’t have. He is an all-around player, he can attack, defend, and do just about anything. Many great full-backs lack this trait, for example, Marcelo. No doubt he is one of the best in the world when it comes to his position, but he tends to attack more than he defends.
This isn’t the only specialty the player has. Most players take years to prove themselves as top-class players, while Pavard did it in arguably the most difficult tournament of them all. He was one of the most important players in the French squad. His highlight of the tournament was his half-volley against Argentina.
His rise started in France, as he was playing for Lille. He grew up playing with the Ligue 1 side, he featured in their youth team, B team, and later on the first team. At professional level, he appeared for his club 25 times over the course of two seasons, but failed to score a goal or provide the team with any assists.
His not too great time at Lille came to an end in 2016, when he moved to Stuttgart for a fee of around €5 million. The German side saw potential in Pavard and decided to invest in the young talent. He started his time in Germany in the second division. He scored a goal and gave two assists in 21 appearances that season, and he went on to win the league. Believe it or not, the Bundesliga 2 title is the only trophy (though it’s not even considered a major title) Pavard has aside from the World Cup. So it can be said that the first and only major title he has is the World Cup trophy.
His first season playing in the Bundesliga saw him get the attention of the French national team. Although his statistics weren’t crazy, if you watch him on the field, you can tell he makes a huge difference.
Head coach of the French National Team, Didier Deschamps, should be recognized for the amazing plan that he had in mind. Before the World Cup started, if you would ask anyone to pick the squad for France, not many would say Pavard. Deschamps was able to pick out a promising talent and he helped him unlock his full potential.
Imagine Pavard wasn’t called up to the World Cup, who would recognize him as a top defender? The French coach guided him perfectly and set him on the right path to glory. The former Lille man has now achieved what most players never will: winning a World Cup. That’s one thing crossed off the list on his long journey.
Where will his next step be? He is currently still playing with Stuttgart, though a bidding war is expected to take place next summer as a move in January seems unlikely. Many reports claimed that Pavard has agreed to join Bayern at the end of the season, though the player himself confirmed that nothing has been agreed yet.
Mundo Deportivo claims that the Frenchman’s agent has offered him to FC Barcelona, and the move would cost the Blaugrana around €35 million. Some would think that Pavard is overrated, these claims are completely false.
The recent World Cup allowed Benjamin Pavard to discover his true potential which will lead him to a bright future. Be sure to remember the name.