Marco Asensio: The rising star of Real Madrid

The Spanish forward possesses an outstanding natural talent and as he learns from the very best at the Bernabeu, he can only grow stronger.

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(Photo credit: REUTERS/Michael Dalder)

In an increasingly bloated transfer market with mega fees continuing to multiply by the year, Real Madrid’s €3.9 million (£3.2 million) signing of teenager Marco Asensio from Real Mallorca grows more impressive by the year. 

He may only be 22 and one of world football’s brightest talents but it was not always obvious he would enjoy such an ascension to stardom.

Setbacks

Personal and professional events set him back during his teenager years – his mother died of cancer when he was just 15 and he suffered growth problems for large spells of his rise through Mallorca’s youth system, having joined the Islanders as a 10-year-old.

His first-team debut came at 17 and his potential was obvious, with Barcelona heavily scouting him and reportedly proposing an offer for the teen to switch to the ranks at their La Masia youth system, before such an idea was scrapped.

(Photo credit: REUTERS/Jon Nazca)

Barca’s loss was Madrid’s gain and two months before his 19th birthday, Asensio signed a six-year contract with Los Blancos. 

The transfer fee appears insignificant now but the Spanish market is far removed from the British one, with clubs in the lower divisions desperate for cash and open to any seemingly-reasonable offer for players. Mallorca – despite receiving notable investment from America – have since slipped to the regionalised third tier in Spain.

Off to Madrid

Following loan spells back at Mallorca and then at Espanyol, Asensio was just shy of 100 professional club appearances before his debut under Zinedine Zidane at the start of last season. 

His talents had already been showcased in La Liga but nobody expected him to enjoy quite the level of success he has in the 18 months since.

(Photo credit:  REUTERS/Jon Nazca)

His trademark cutting inside from the wing and raw pace has caused opposition defences continual nightmares, while his knack for spectacular goals has not gone unnoticed. 

He scored from 25 yards out on his first-team debut against Sevilla in the Spanish Supercopa and then on his league debut against Real Sociedad, finally capping off his wonderful debut campaign by scoring in the Champions League final rout against Juventus.

Bright future

With 21 goals in 85 appearances, his continued brilliance has seen Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema fall from Zinedine Zidane’s starting line-up and his rise played a large part in the decision to sanction the exit of James Rodriguez last summer. 

As things stand, Cristiano Ronaldo is the only attacker on Madrid’s books who is more likely to be relied upon by Zidane.

Asensio is a player who excites – direct, incisive and confident, he is perfect for either counter-attacking or dragging opposition defenders out of their position.

 Unlike Lucas Vazquez, Benzema and others he cannot be relied upon to provide shape or balance to defensive duties but such industry would surely limit his attacking potential. 

He may still be somewhat raw, but this diamond will shine for club and country for years to come.

What do you think the future holds for Asensio? Let us know by commenting below.

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