LEVANTE-REAL MADRID

Mayoral in line for first Liga start in the Ciutat de Valencia

The 18-year-old Castilla striker could make the first 11 against Levante, against whom Álvaro Morata scored his first goal for Real Madrid in 2012.

Mayoral in line for first Liga start in the Ciutat de Valencia
JAVIER GANDUL DIARIO AS

Borja Mayoral could feature from the start against Levante on Wednesday night, where he will hope to emulate fellow Castilla graduate Álvaro Morata, who scored his first goal for Real Madrid in the Cuitat de Valencia. The date was November 11, 2012 and Morata came off the bench to rescue three points for his side, who were then in a situation very similar to their current one. Although only 10 league games had elapsed, José Mourinho’s side were eight points behind Barcelona and travelled to the Cuitat de Valencia missing several key players, among them strikers Gonzalo Higuaín and Karim Benzema. Without his first team forwards available, Mourinho dipped into the cantera and took Morata with him, at a time when, like Mayoral now, the Juventus striker was alternating between Castilla and the Real first team.

With the score at 1-1 and Madrid struggling to break Levante down, Mourinho threw Morata on for Mesut Özil in the 82nd minute in an attempt to force the winning goal. Just a minute after coming on Morata scored. On that day the striker was wearing the number 29 shirt, the same one that has been handed to Mayoral for his first team forays.

Although Mayoral will probably get his chance from the start on Wednesday night, the similarities between the two are evident. Mourinho handed a chance to the most promising striker in the academy when injuries forced his hand, and as Zinedine Zidane will be without Benzema for the match Mayoral, who played the second half of the defeat to Atlético Madrid at the weekend, will get his turn. Morata was subsequently sold by the club and went on to win a Scudetto with Juventus, as well as playing in the Champions League final and receiving a call-up from Vicente del Bosque.

Mayoral will hope to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor in the Cuitat de Valencia and score his first senior goal for the club.