Once every so often, a player emerges onto the scene that makes you think: “Gosh, he can play.” But a lot of the time they don’t really live up to the hype and disappear without so much as a whimper.
There are a select few, however, that make it out of the water. Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio is right now that player that’s swimming with sharks, but has a bite of his own.
Making a name for himself under Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid dynasty and quickly rising through the ranks with Spain’s national side, Asensio is fast becoming a superstar.
At 21 years old, you’d probably think you ought to have heard about this kid years ago as a football prodigy. But no one outside of Real Madrid did – he quietly signed for Los Blancos in 2014 from Mallorca and had two loan spells, one back to Mallorca and another to Espanyol.
His first real emergence for Real Madrid came at the start of the 2016/17 campaign in the European Super Cup where he struck his first senior goal for Madrid from 28 yards, rifling the top corner. Since then he’s been in and out of the first team, but under Zidane he has made more frequent appearances, albeit mainly off the bench.
He ended his 2017 campaign with a goal in the Champions League final as he helped Madrid to become the first team in the modern era to successfully defend Europe’s most illustrious trophy. But Asensio didn’t stop there. He was the talisman in Spain’s Under-21 side that went to the finals of the European Championship. His first game in the tournament? He scored a hat-trick.
He is now looking at the 2017/18 campaign with a drive to be Zidane’s most prized possession. His current contract has a £72m buy-out clause, which is being monitored by the giants of European football.
But performances in pre-season and in the first competitive El Clasico of the season have already got the Madrid board itching to tie Asensio down for the foreseeable future. He showed flashes of his dynamic approach to the game in crucial ties in Madrid’s Champions League campaign – including a solo goal against Bayern Munich.
It’s hard enough to make a name for yourself at a club that boasts players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. But every time he’s come on, Asensio has left a lasting impression on everyone.
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One of the hottest talents in world football, the 21-year-old Spanish international will soon become a top target for all of the world’s top sides. This is a big season for Asensio; he’s been demanding a starting role in Madrid’s modern day Galacticos and now he’ll need to show Zidane and the rest of the world – Asensio is the present and future.