There is a new name in Madrid. A player who is quickly becoming the next superstar to don the famous Los Blancos kit.
He has scored on his club debut, his league debut, his cup debut, his Spanish Super Cup debut and his Champions League debut. He has scored in the Champions League final… and he is only 21-years-old.
He is Marco Asensio.
The boy from Mallorca is making a name for himself as the most exciting young talent in Spanish football. His two long-range screamers in the Spanish Super Cup final, one in the Camp Nou and one in Madrid, showed his raw talent and fearlessness on the big stage.
Asensio’s second strike, which put Madrid 4-1 up on aggregate, came in the fourth minute. The fact that a player so young had the audacity to shoot from 35-yards out in the opening stages of the game shows that the young Spaniard is completely confident in his ability, just like all the greats, especially his Galactico teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Could he be the man to replace Ronaldo when the legend retires?
The youthful Galactico does share some of Ronaldo’s qualities, especially when the Portuguese international was making a name for himself at Manchester United.
He is extremely fast, with the ability to take the ball 40 or 50 yards up the pitch, drifting past players with ease. He also has neat footwork and protects the ball well.
Yet, his most similar asset his shares with CR7 is his venomous strike, which dips and swerves in the air because he hits it with such power. He often hits it so hard that the ball connects with the back of the net before the goalkeeper even moves.
His career so far
Asensio started his professional career at Mallorca aged just 17. The boy clearly had talent and this did not go unnoticed by Real or Barca.
Both sides were tipped to sign the youngster and it was Barca who had the first chance to do so when Sporting Director, Andoni Zubizarreta, made the player known as a hot young prospect that the club needed to sign.
However, the Catalan side quibbled over paying the €4.5m asking price that Mallorca had requested, and he was bought by Madrid in January 2014.
The Galactico’s let their young attacking midfielder stay at Mallorca on loan for one season and then sent him off to Espanyol before calling him back to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2016.
His return to Madrid was announced with a stunning goal in the 3-2 UEFA Super Cup win over Sevilla.
Since that brilliant goal, the young Spaniard has been knocking on the door of Zinedine Zidane’s star-studded first team, scoring at every opportunity, including in Real’s 4-1 Champions League final victory over Juventus last season.
Does Asensio’s rise signal the end for Bale?
With Ronaldo and Karim Benzema still firing up top for Zidane’s side, it is most likely that Asensio will be the biggest threat to Gareth Bale.
The Welshman has been riddled with injuries since his arrival at the Bernabeu, and though he started the first-leg of the Spanish Super Cup which seemed to kill off any suggestions that he will be moving away from Madrid this summer, he was not named in the first XI for their second-leg.
Even with Ronaldo banned for five games, after seeing yellow for taking his shirt off having scored a wonderful goal and then was booked diving, Bale was not selected to start.
If Asensio continues to score goals when given the chance to and is able to take the leap up to the international stage with Spain during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, then he will be on his way to becoming a first team regular and a true Galactico.
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