Marcos Alonso III was handed his full international debut in Tuesday's 6-1 trouncing of Argentina at the Wanda Metropolitano and in doing so, became the third member of the same family to represent Spain - an unusual and unique feat. The Chelsea player follows in the footsteps of his grandfather Marcos Alonso Marquitos and his father Marcos Alonso, El Pichón. He gained his first cap in the same city as his grandad, Madrid, but later in his career, aged 27.
Marquitos was capped twice by Spain and ended on the losing side on both occasions: he made his debut, aged 21, against France at the Bernabéu, and found himself up against club team mate Raymond Kopa who scored and was carried off the field on his team mates' shoulders in the 1-2 win on 17 March 1955; his second appearance, against England at Wembley in October 1960 ended in a 4-2 defeat with Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Smith getting among the goals for the hosts.
The next member of the family to play for Spain was his father Marcos Alonso Peña, who was also 21 on his debut. An Atlético de Madrid player and self-confessed Barça fan (Marquitos senior never forgave then Real Madrid president Luis de Carlos for overlooking his son, who went on to play for the club's main rivals), he made 22 appearances at full international level (he was in the squad for the ill-fated Euro 1984 campaign but didn't play a single minute of the tournament), and scored one goal - against Iceland in his penultimate game in September 1985.
Curiously, he made his debut against England at Wembley - where his father had played his final international... Back home in Spain on that day, 25 March 1981, the great Quini had been released by his kidnappers, bringing to an end almost a month in captivity. Zamora and Satrústegui beat Ray Clemence to give La Roja a 1-2 victory. But in contrast to his father, a gritty, uncompromising full-back, El Pichón was a lively, nimble and quick centre-forward blessed with an equisite touch. He was also a good header of the ball and it was one such goal of his - a diving header on 90 minutes, which gave Barcelona the Copa del Rey in the 1983 final against Real Madrid.
Like father, like son
Marcos Alonso III is the third member of the family to pull on the Spain shirt - unprecedented in Spanish football history, although there have been several cases of father and son doing so - such as: Herrerita and Chus Herrera, Eusebio and Roberto Ríos, Manuel and Manolo Jr. Sanchís), Gaztelu and Aranzabal, Miguel and Pepe Reina and Periko and Xabi Alonso.
After going through the youth system at Real Madrid and furthering his career at Bolton, Fiorentina, Sunderland and Chelsea, Marcos' turn finally arrived last night. His proud father was watching from the stands at the Wanda as he came on to replace Jordi Alba on 79 minutes. This was a moment in his son's career he wanted to see for himself - Manuel Pellegrini had given the young Marcos his Real Madrid debut in Santander, birthplace of both his father and grandfather, in April 2010. But both missed the occasion due to health reasons - Marquitos, by then in his later years, was already suffering from bad health (sadly, he passed away on 6 March 2012) meanwhile his father was unable to attend as he was being treated for high levels of uric acid. Tuesday's event was a family milestone he wouldn't have missed for anything in the world...