Jersey #7 – Will Mariano Diaz live up to the legacy?
In a shocking turn of events after endless speculation, the wearer of the iconic no. 7 jersey has been announced. Mariano Diaz's arrival in Bernabeu was expected this season but what shocked everyone was Cristiano Ronaldo's number 7 jersey was given to him.
The jersey has been donned by influential players like Beckham, Raul and Ronaldo in the past making it very important for the team. Especially in Bernabeu number 7 is not just a jersey; it is a legacy which was moulded by players like Raul and Ronaldo.
The turn of events has angered Madrid fans all over the world. Fans expected the jersey to be retired, at least for one season to respect Ronaldo's contribution. Not only the management revived the jersey, but they also gave it to the next signing.
According to the reports from the Spanish media, Asensio was considered for the jersey given his position and his performance in the last season, but this has taken a whole new twist. It would be wrong to judge Mariano before he even performed, but comparisons are going to take place since no one expected Diaz to be Ronaldo's replacement.
The 25-year-old was initially signed by Real in 2012. Since then he has played for the team through their lower tier C and B teams. Zidane, former coach of Real Madrid, brought Mariano to the first squad in the season of 2016-17. That season he appeared in 14 games and netted the ball five times. Later he went on to play with Lyon and scored 21 goals in his 45 matches for the season of 2017-18.
He plays on the attacking positions but is mostly seen as the centre-forward. He is quick and agile on the field. His last season saw some of his best work till date. He is a great scorer and on his earlier times at Bernabeu was said to be one of the future superstars. But putting him the legendary jersey is a significant controversy.
The pressure will make him or break him as a player. The comparison would continue till he reaches his real potential. Given Real Madrid swooped into the transfer deal between Lyon and Sevilla, it would be safe to say Lopetegui has big plans for the new bearer of the iconic jersey #7