Who is Real Madrid starlet Marco Asensio?

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Football News

Gareth Bale starred for Real Madrid as they cruised past Real Sociedad with a 3-0 win in their opening game of the La Liga season.

The Welshman scored twice to get Los Blancos off to the perfect start, but his brace sandwiched another goal by a far less well-known man in white.

The strike in question came from Marco Asensio, a name that will be unfamiliar to many.


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Cristiano Ronaldo's well-documented injury problems following Euro 2016 have created an opening in Real's side. Like the wise manager that he is, Zinedine Zidane hasn't rushed him back and having been unable to really spend in the transfer market, he has had to put his faith in Asensio.

While he might not be a Galactico, all the indications are that he's got what it takes to cut it in the Spanish capital. The 20-year-old had an impressive pre-season, netting the opener in the European Super Cup just over a week ago, so it's no wonder Zidane was happy to give him another chance against Sociedad.

Asensio plays with an incredible maturity for a player who has featured just 34 times in the top flight. An attacking midfielder emanating from Palma, he progressed up the youth ranks at Mallorca before earning himself a move to the Bernabeu two years ago.

Pure class

Since then, loan spells back at Mallorca and subsequently at Espanyol have followed. It's particularly interesting that he spent time with the latter, as he could have ended up in Catalonia for very different reasons - before Real picked him up, he was also scouted by Barcelona.

They won't be the only ones looking back at what might have been. Asensio's mother is Dutch, so he could have qualified to play for the Netherlands - and they could probably do with him now.

At Espanyol, he may have been a big fish in a small pond, but Real was always going to be a test. So far, it's one he's passing with flying colours.

And so, to his first league goal on Sunday night. Asensio picked up the ball just inside the box after a brilliant ball from centre-back Raphael Varane, who himself is trying to displace Pepe from the first team.

Glorious finish 

The finish was crisp as he chipped the ball over the 'keeper with perfect timing, a goal his namesake Marco van Basten - the football legend he was named after - would have been proud of.

Asensio isn't primarily a goalscorer, so this might not be a regular occurrence. All the same, he gets goals, as he showed the continent when he won Player of the Tournament at last year's under-19 European Championships, helping Spain to the trophy.

Now with the senior international side, he won his first and so far only cap against Switzerland, but there is surely more to come.

It's worth remembering the name Marco Asensio. Real can't rely on Ronaldo, Bale, and Benzema forever, and this wonderkid is certainly one for the future.

Can Real Madrid win La Liga this season? Have your say in the comments. 

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Gareth Bale
La Liga
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
UEFA Champions League

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