A surprising statistic has ​reveal Real Madrid defender Nacho has played more minutes (2257) than any of his teammates this season, as per ​Transfermarkt.

28-year-old Nacho has emerged from the edge of a Bernabeu exit in 2016 to become a mainstay in Zinedine Zidane’s side, where his professionalism and flexibility across the back four has ensured he is one of the most trusted players in the dressing room.

Real Madrid stat

The defender has made 28 appearances so far this season – just five from the substitutes’ bench – where he has outplayed the likes of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Cristiano Ronaldo. 

In the absence of Pepe, Nacho has stepped into the back-line with little fault, consistently offering his presence in vital situations in both attack and defence.  

Nacho’s displays may not result in praise throughout the media, but the 28-year-old’s performance against Deportivo La Coruna last week earned the defender adulation from the home crowd who chanted his name around the Bernabeu following a surprise brace in the club’s 7-1 victory. 

Real Madrid v Deportivo La Coruna - La Liga

His importance to Real Madrid this season was acknowledged by ​WhoScored as they revealed that Zidane’s side have won just twice in the defenders absence in seven league games this season, compared to just one defeat in 12 games with him in the side. 

Whilst Nacho continues to thrive so far this season, the club’s fortunes have not been as fortuitous as Real Madrid currently languish in fourth place in the league – 19 points behind leaders Barcelona, with just one game in hand. 

(You may also be interested in ​Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ex-Teammate Claims Superstar Wants to End Career at Boyhood Club Sporting Lisbon)

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