Italy legend Alessandro Nesta has hailed the displays of Cardiff City’s Gary Medel at the World Cup this summer, describing the Chilean as a model defender.
Forced from his more comfortable defensive midfield spot into a centre-back role, Medel nevertheless proved one of his side’s standout performers during their run to the last 16 and Nesta was impressed with what he saw, highlighting his outing in the shootout defeat to Brazil for particular praise.
‘I usually don’t judge a player too quickly, I like to watch them many times before I express an opinion but I was impressed by the Chilean Gary Medel against Brazil,’ he said.
‘He played at less than 100 per cent fitness, then he was forced to exit with a torn muscle, but he impressed me.'
The former Lazio and AC Milan star did however stress that a larger sample size is usually needed in order to properly evaluate a player’s performance.
‘I still believe that a player must be evaluated through many games, against different opponents, styles of play and conditions,’ he added. ‘If you just watch a single game, it’s easier to be impressed by a player.’
Signing for Cardiff last August for a club record £11 million, after two seasons in La Liga with Sevilla, the 65-times capped Medel appeared in 34 Premier League games in 2013-14, earning widespread praise from fans as one of the few bright spots to an otherwise disappointing campaign.
His efforts were not however enough to save Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side from the drop and the former Boca Juniors man has now been linked with an £8 million move to Inter Milan, following earlier speculation of a return to Spain with either Malaga or Valencia.