At the start of the season, it seemed that everything Marco Asensio touched turned to gold.
The Spain international, who celebrated his 22nd birthday last month, scored two superb goals in both legs of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona and then netted a brace in a 2-2 draw against Valencia less than a fortnight later.
Asensio looked the real deal; a young player with all the talent in the world and the potential to become a genuine superstar.
However, Cristiano Ronaldo was in and out of the Madrid team back in August due to injuries and suspension, and once the team’s star man returned it was always going to be tough for Zinedine Zidane to keep Asensio in his starting line-up.
Of course, the Madrid boss could have been brave by dropping another member of the ‘BBC’, but leaving Asensio out rather than Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema or, indeed, Ronaldo was undoubtedly the easier decision.
Asensio produced MOTM performance v Betis
Asensio has since started sporadically for Los Blancos, but he was named in the starting line-up against Real Betis on Sunday evening.
Benzema was named on the substitutes’ bench, with Asensio wide left, Lucas Vazquez on the right, and Ronaldo and Bale upfront.
It took Asensio just 11 minutes to break the deadlock. This was his first La Liga goal since the 3-0 win over Las Palmas on November 5 - 105 days ago.
The Spanish forward then scored his second goal of the night - his 10th of the season in all competitions - on the hour-mark to put Madrid 3-2 up on the night.
Asensio was handed a 9/10 rating by the Mirror for his magnificent performance as Zidane’s men ran out 5-3 winners on the night.
Video: Asensio's impressive highlights v Betis
You can watch his individual highlights here…
What football fans have been saying about Asensio
Football fans on social media, meanwhile, have been having their say on Asensio following his masterclass at the Benito Villamarín.
They’ve all been calling him the world’s best young player…
Praising his remarkable finishing ability….
And tipping him to win the Ballon d’Or in the future…
The kid is the real deal alright.
Asensio happy with Madrid's victory
"I think we're in a good moment and we must continue like this," Asensio was quoted as saying by Marca after the match. ”We have improved and we played fantastically well.
"I'm happy with the victory."
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