Those who know Mariano Diaz know how confident he is. He’s brave too, which led him to be the only player who dared touch Cristiano Ronaldo‘s vacated No.7 shirt at Real Madrid last year.
On top of that, he continually fought against coaches’ plans that he didn’t feature in and backed himself to make it at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The first time he refused to leave came in the summer of 2016. Then, he turned down a loan move when Madrid‘s BBC trio were at their best and he ended up playing 14 games – 302 minutes – in which he scored five goals.
History repeated itself this summer despite Real Madrid‘s attempts to move him on.
“This is going to be my year at Madrid,” Mariano said in an interview with MARCA on June 3.
He’s managed to stay at the club and, little by little, he’s trying to convince Zinedine Zidane that he’s deserving of minutes.
But now he’s doing it without that No.7, which has been passed on to Eden Hazard since his arrival from Chelsea.
On top of that, he faces a lot of competition for places from Karim Benzema, Luka Jovic, Hazard, Gareth Bale, Lucas Vazquez, Brahim Diaz, Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior, not to mention the injured Marco Asensio.
Mariano, now No.24, hopes that the injuries that plagued his 2018/19 season are confined to the past, and he can fight to prove himself under Zidane.
There aren’t many pure forwards at Madrid, and Mariano can offer something if he’s at his best.