Nacho Fernandez has enjoyed a special connection with Real Madrid over the years. His professional journey with the club began in the C team in 2008, and he needed just one year to secure promotion to the Castilla side.
After four years at the subsidiary level, the defender was called up to the first team in 2013. Almost a decade has passed since that day, and the defender continues to be dedicated as ever to the badge.
All of it could come to an end on Sunday night. Nacho’s contract with Real Madrid ends this summer, and the veteran prioritises playing time, now more than ever.
According to reports from Arancha Rodriguez (h/t Madrid Xtra), the centre-back has still not decided on the next step in his career. He has a good offer from Inter Milan and a move to the UCL finalists cannot be ruled out.
Carlo Ancelotti would love to retain the Spaniard in his dynamics for the 2023-24 campaign but cannot guarantee a starting role in the team. After all, Eder Militao, Antonio Rudiger, and David Alaba continue to be ahead of him in the pecking order.
Nacho, for his part, has mainly remained coy about his future and has not even responded to the club’s offer.
One can expect the defender to be quizzed about the topic after tonight’s game at Santiago Bernabeu, and it will be interesting to see if he makes any announcements.
The 33-year-old has made 26 La Liga appearances for Real Madrid this season, scoring one goal and providing one assist in the process. However, he has only started 17 games, and even that, largely at full-back. Nevertheless, with seven clean sheets overseen and over five defensive contributions per game, his numbers have been impressive.
Bellingham on his special assist in Girona 0-3 Real Madrid: “Been watching Luka every day”
Real Madrid usurped the top spot in the La Liga standings from arch-rivals FC Barcelona as they defeated Girona 3-0 away at Estadi Montilivi.
It was a fine performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s men against Michel’s side, with the returning Jude Bellingham leading the way for his team.
After being benched against Las Palmas in midweek, the England international returned to the starting XI today and turned in yet another Man of the Match display for Real Madrid.
It all started with Joselu opening the scoring just 15 minutes into the game, with Bellingham assisting the goal with a special, outside-of-the-boot pass from the left side, bringing back memories of Luka Modric doing something similar a few years ago.
Talking about that special pass, Bellingham said: “I’ve been watching Luka every day for months. I just want to be creative. It took the pressure off us at the start.”
On the match and the result, the 20-year-old stated that it was a good day across the board for Real Madrid, as he said: “It was an important win. They were doing very well. We made a statement of intent to La Liga. Three goals, a clean sheet….”
It has been a truly remarkable start to life at Real Madrid for Bellingham and expressing how he feels to play for the Merengues, he exclaimed:
“I feel very good. I have freedom of movement and I’m enjoying football. Whenever I put on this shirt I always try to do my best.”
Apart from assisting Joselu’s opener, Bellingham also got his name on the scoresheet in the second period. Talking about his goal, the wonderkid said:
“It wasn’t a very good finish. I could have scored some more, but the important thing is the victory.”
The strike meant that Bellingham now has seven goals and two assists across all competitions for Real Madrid. Reflecting on his brilliant start, he said:
“It’s a good start, not bad. I would like to continue on this path and I won’t always score or assist, but I will always give my best.”
Bellingham’s celebration has been a huge hit, with kids in school, players from other clubs, and many others mimicking it. When asked how his special celebration originated, he replied:
“I don’t know where I first celebrated. I think it was with Birmingham. It’s an inspiration to see kids doing it in schools. It’s a wonderful thing.”