Nacho for the Puskas prize
It wasn't an outstanding minnow's achievement from Cultural. Nor was it a stunning piece of play from James or Isco. Instead the hero of the night hosted in León was Nacho, the perfect academy player. His scissor-kick golazo has been watched around the world.
One for the museum
A collector's item. The BBC weren't there. It wasn't a finish from Morata or Asensio, the top scorers in this current Madrid side. It wasn't a piece of genius from James, nor from Isco, or even Lucas Vázquez. It wasn't even a Kroos missile fired from distance. Rule out as well a guided header into the corner from Pepe. What did happen in the Kingdom of León will be remembered for many years. The greatest feat of the night goes to a lad from Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, who has grown from a young boy in La Fábrica (The Factory) - arriving there just 10 years old - and has developed with willful appearances on such provincial pitches as Alcobendas, Torrejón de Ardoz, San Sebastián de los Reyes...
Our hero is called Nacho and his surname is Fernández. A 26 year old that doesn't have to prove anything more. What he did last night in León we haven't seen from Messi or Cristiano. If anything, maybe Ibrahimovic. It was an aerial scissor kick of such flexibility and beauty it reminded us of the famous effort by Hugo Sánchez against Logroñés (see below). The arc of his body for a perfectly coordinated and executed kick, connecting imperiously with the instep of his right boot, with the accuracy to take it to the part of the goal that Palatsi had no chance of getting to. Nor would Buffon or even the Casillas we saw in the World Cup in South Africa. Never have I seen such a model substitute. When he plays, he always scores well on the AS ratings. And this with Zidane spacing out his appearances. Maybe the man from Marseille will now look to Varane and think. I would say to him today, "Raphael, you started this season with the advantage but I have analysed the videos to see what Nacho can do for the team. He deserves to start."
Admiration and appreciation for the underdogs
The team from León should not be criticised for anything despite the scoreline. 7-1 was more to do with the strength of Zidane's back-up than any failure on behalf of the hosts, who fought bravely and proudly. This Madrid was not the timid Barça of last year who drew 0-0 with another Sugunda B side, Villanovense. It was a serious Madrid, ambitious and hungry, with Morata and Asensio competing to get ahead of the BBC in the pecking order, with Isco and James confirming that there is plenty talent to be exploited from the Madrid bench, and with Kroos putting in overtime while we await the return of Casemiro. But we can't forget Cultu, driven by their passionate fans, who tested Casilla in the Madrid goal more than once. He made four useful stops that deserve mention and the local side could have scored two or three more than the one they netted. The young team that came from Rubén de la Barrera had an attitude and commitment to be admired, and will go back with pride to play in the Segunda B against the historic Racing.
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