French outlet likens Barcelona star to Cristiano Ronaldo

Date:

DORTMUND, GERMANY - JUNE 22: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal looks on during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Turkiye and Portugal at Football Stadium Dortmund on June 22, 2024 in Dortmund, Germany.
Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

It is the hope of any club like FC Barcelona that their players reach their full potential. Beyond just being their own representatives, these players are also investments for the club at a financial level. Their growth is crucial for any top-level club, and that includes FC Barcelona as well.

One of the players who has grown the most this season has been Jules Kounde. The 25-year-old French defender initially struggled this season, but over time became much more solidified and has been almost faultless for both his country and FC Barcelona so far this season.

Now being mainly deployed as a right-back, for both Barcelona and France, Kounde has seen a lot of growth both mentally and physically over the last couple of years adapting to his new role.

This has been pointed out by Mundo Deportivo, who have brought forth the words of French outlet L’Equipe, whose words compare his training regime and work ethics to that of a certain Portuguese icon:

“Koundé has adopted a work ethic similar to Cristiano Ronaldo’s. He has undergone an impressive body transformation… He has gained shoulders, and biceps, and his abdominal muscles are impressive. He has become ‘Cristiano Ronaldo-esque’ over the past few months.”

Ironically, Kounde may get to face Ronaldo in his very next game. With France and Portugal both qualified for the quarterfinals, the two European superteams are now set to clash with one another in Germany. Both Kounde and Ronaldo could end up starting, and consequently facing one another in that massive contest.

France's defender #05 Jules Kounde and midfielder #07 Antoine Griezmann celebrate their win at the end of the UEFA Euro 2024 round of 16 football match between France and Belgium at the Duesseldorf Arena in Duesseldorf on July 1, 2024.
Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images

This report came out not too long after his immense display against Belgium in the Round of 16 in the European Championship. Kounde was awarded the Man of the Match award after the conclusion of the 1-0 victory for France, one in which he was directly involved in the only goal of the game, while also covering a total of 10.7 kilometers during that match, as well as showing great defensive resilience, recovering seven balls in the process.

Now, the French outlet highlights him as a ‘recognized fullback’, stating that the Barcelona player has truly developed his physical form: “His body leaves no room for fat, his training regimen is flawless, and his effectiveness is evident in his duels during matches.”

Despite his initial reluctance to play as a right-back for Barcelona, that decision has ultimately come to help him. Even in a team as stacked as France, Kounde’s ability to play as a right-back is keeping him in the starting eleven.

Given how strong the center-back depth is for the French team, the Barcelona star may not have started in that role had he limited himself only to being a center-back.

Speaking about his progression, the French outlet highlighted his growth in terms of not just mentality but also his positional shift and change: “He now exudes confidence and has accumulated a series of successful matches in this European Championship… It took three years for him to truly become this right-back.”

As it stands for L’Equipe, the 25-year-old French star has fully mastered his new role: “The Barcelona player, who has been capped 32 times, has mastered the position in the past five months.”

With Kounde’s performances for France continue to validate these words of praise, he is also helping Barcelona. The defender sees his value rise as his displays at the Euros continue to impress, and Barça will be hoping that he brings the same momentum back to the club once the competition gets wrapped up.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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