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SPAIN - LIECHTENSTEIN

Lopetegui could end Holland's interest in Asensio on Monday

Having only played for Spain in a friendly, the young Real Madrid star is still eligible to play for Holland thanks to his Dutch mother

Lopetegui could end Holland's interest in Asensio on Monday
PASCU MENDEZ DIARIO AS

Marco Asensio is the footballer of the moment. He’s broken into the Real Madrid first team after a wonderful preseason (jumping ahead of Isco and James in the pecking order and causing Zidane to request that he stay) while Vicente Del Bosque has called him “the best talent in Spain”.

Star of the next generation

As well as the former Spain coach, new manager of the national side Julen Lopetegui has also stood up and taken notice, naming the 21-year old in his squad at the first time of asking.
Asensio, no doubt, will be one the stars of the next generation, however his presence in the current Spain squad has taken on somewhat double significance, given that Spain want to make sure his future with La Roja is secured.

MARCO ASENSIO

Asensio's Dutch eligibility

That is because Asensio (whose second surname is Willemsen) has a Dutch mother, meaning Holland has unsurprisingly taken an interest and tried to tempt the player to the Oranje on several occasions throughout his development. In October 2015, Dutch fans even created a Twitter campaign (#AsensioWillemsenInOranje) to try and convince him.

“There has been contact, although my idea is stay with Spain,” Asensio told AS shortly after the hashtag emerged, although admitting, “My Dutch family has asked me to go there.”

Spain future to be secured against Liechtenstein?

However, the door to that – albeit faint – possibility could be closed for good on Monday as Spain take on Liechtenstein (if Asensio takes to the field at any stage in Leon). While Asensio did make his debut on Thursday against Belgium, it was only in a friendly, meaning the player is still eligible to represent the Dutch.

Lopetegui, of course, is well aware of this fact and will want to sure up Asensio’s Spain future at the earliest possible opportunity, much to Holland's disappointment.