REAL MADRID

Ferland Mendy following Marcelo and Roberto Carlos' footsteps

The French defender has been thriving since the return of football with an assist for Asensio, a forced penalty against Alavés and his first goal against Granada

Ferland Mendy celebra el gol que marcó al Granada en el Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes.
Irina R. H. / AFP7 / Europa Pres Irina R. H. / AFP7 / Europa Pres

It was the 10th minute when Casemiro sent a ball out to the left for Ferland Mendy to chase against Granada. Neither short or slow, Mendy took off and latched onto it before drilling it beyond a surprised Rui Silva in Granada's goal. It was Mendy's first goal in a Real Madrid jersey and another goal by a full-back, the fourth in four games.

Mendy was a direct request by Zinedine Zidane last summer to strengthen the left-back position. He thought Marcelo needed some clean, healthy competition and a replacement when necessary. After losing Cristiano Ronaldo and with a Kylian Mbappé deal impossible, Zidane decided to strengthen his defense. Thibaut Courtois has kept 18 clean sheets this season with the help in a much-improved defensive set-up.

Zidane is surprisingly good at singling out young talent and knows a good French player when he sees one with Mendy arriving from Lyon. The 25-year-old left PSG's youth ranks in order to develop further. A serious injury almost put his football dreams to an end but his mental toughness, his attitude along with his constant development makes you think that after Roberto Carlos and Marcelo, Real Madrid have a new revelation at left-back.

The French defender has started 22 games this season and Madrid have won 20 of those. Mendy has been since the return of football with an assist for Marco Asensio, his first touch after returning from an ACL rupture. He also won a penalty against Alavés and scored the goal against Granada. He also played an important role against Atlético when a move involving himself and Vinicius ended up with a Benzema goal.

After his first goal, he sent a message to Madridistas: "Hello, I'm very happy to have scored my first goal for Madrid and to get the three points. We will give our all! Hala Madrid!" On Thursday, they will play against Villarreal, the same team Mendy debuted against and if they win they will be crowned LaLiga champions for the 34th time in their history.