The new Madrid re-incorporación will have on Saturday his first minutes with the white shirt after his return from Lyon, in a difficult square as it is the one of San Mamés when facing the Athletic club of Bilbao.
The Mariano who played 13 minutes 497 days ago in the victory against Granada 4 x 0 is not the same. Returns to Madrid an evolved Mariano with more flight in the elite after his passage through France and more expensive too. When he was transferred to Olympique de Lyon his market value was 5 million euros, now he worths 4 times above that amount. Bernard Lacombe European champion in 1984 draws him as a mix between Trezeguet, Batistuta, and Morientes. After his trip to France Mariano has obtained qualities that make him perfect to fight a position in the merengue’s front (auction, aerial play, push, power and obsession with the goal).
Mariano left very good numbers in France, he started in 39 of 45 games of the season where he left 21 official goals and 6 assists, scoring in important matches as against Falcao’s Monaco that made him 3 goals, Baloteli’s Nice, Marseille and in the Europa League also marked against the Villareal. Mariano signed an excellent season equaling the French star Mbappe.
For his outstanding season, several European teams wanted to sign him as for example Sevilla, but Madrid answered the request of Lopetegui for a number 9. It is true that the Spanish coach was expecting a Harry Kane, or a Lewandoski, forwards with more travel and experience to fight the post in front of Benzema but after the season of Mariano and his price, the club decided for the Dominican, who with his landing reflected his desire to change of dressing the dorsal 18 to carrying the legendary number 7, being the new heir of Cristiano Ronaldo.