Real Madrid sold Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the club’s greatest ever players, in arguably the biggest transfer deal this year. The historical number seven shirt was worn by him and many other legendary footballers throughout the years. Now another player is going to wear the famous jersey – Mariano Diaz. But does Real’s new icon have what it takes?
Who is Mariano Diaz?
The Emblematic Number
The iconic number has been worn by Raul, Butragueno and Juanito, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo, just to name a few. That’s why many Madrid fans are disappointed, unhappy and even ”disgusted” by the decision to choose unexperienced Mariano as the legendary squad number’s successor. As well as the big amounts of hate, the new Real Madrid player will have to deal with the great pressure of filling these legends’ shoes.
Who is He?
Mariano Diaz is a 25-year-old striker from the Dominican Republic but born in Spain. He started his professional career as a Badalona player in 2011 at the age of 18, and the following year completed a transfer to Real Madrid C, the main club’s second reserve team. After two impressive years, the Dominican was promoted to the main squad by manager Zinedine Zidane in August 2016, after Karim Benzema’s back injury.
Mariano played only 13 games for the Madridistas, eight of which in La Liga and the rest in the Copa Del Rey. Despite the short period of time spent in the club, Mariano Díaz has gone into the Real Madrid record books. The striker scored the fastest goal ever by a Real Madrid player in the Spanish Copa del Rey (23 seconds) in a 6-1 win over Cultural Leonesa, finishing the game with a hat-trick.
National Team Decision
Mariano only has one appearance for the Dominican Republic. He retired from the Dominican national team in the hope of a possible call-up for the Spanish national team. The forward is close to his dream and if he continues to impress with the Spanish giants his call-up will be almost guaranteed.
From Lyon to Madrid and Furious Sevilla
On June 2017 Mariano signed for Olympique Lyonnais for a reported fee of €8 million. However, Real Madrid and Lyon also agreed on 35% interest in case of a potential future transfer as well as a buy-back option. The Dominican had a great season at the French club scoring 18 goals, playing alongside Nabil Fekir and Memphis Depay and becoming the fifth best goalscorer for the season.
Mariano was under contract at Lyon until June 2022 but decided he wanted a new move just over a year after joining the Lyon team. Sevilla was his newly expected club and a price of €30 million was even agreed. Meanwhile, after Real Madrid were unable to find a Galactico to take Ronaldo’s recently freed space, they decided to bring the Dominican back by activating his buy-back clause, which he of course agreed.
Sevilla were obviously upset, as club president Jose Castro even claimed that Mariano had given him his word that he was going to play for the Rojiblancos.
Real Madrid’s late swoop also left Sevilla little to no time to find a second transfer choice.
Mariano Diaz definitely has a lot of pressure and responsibility on his shoulders. Currently, all eyes are on him, but if he keeps his form and proves himself he can use it to his advantage. Real Madrid’s new addition inspires many. This move is motivating for every future player, especially coming from the club’s academy.
Image used: Embed from Getty Images