- The son and nephew of former Real Madrid players
- Voted Alibaba Cloud Match Award winner
- Scored his first goal for the first team
Over the last two months, Marcos Llorente has slowly but surely got himself noticed. The biggest discovery of coach Santiago Solari’s new tenure, the midfielder has made the most of Casemiro’s injury-enforced absence, further cementing his place with every pass he makes.
Though Llorente is the first to admit that goalscoring is not his strong point, his wonder strike in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018, which also happened to be his first goal for Real Madrid, has merely consolidated his first-team place.
“I dedicate the goal to my entire family, to all my friends, and my girlfriend. They’re the ones who are always there for me,” Llorente told FIFA.com. “They put up with me when I’m impossible to put up with, and they suffer with me when I’m having a hard time, when I’m suffering. This is for them.”
His family has very strong ties with Real Madrid:
- His father, Paco Llorente, was a winger for the club between 1987 and 1994
- His uncle Julio was a Blanco defender between 1987 and 1990
- His uncles Jose Luis and Tonin played for the club’s basketball team
- His great uncle is the legendary Paco Gento
With ancestry like that, you could be forgiven for thinking that the name weighs heavy and that family chats are a burden for someone who is still only 23.
“No, that’s not the case,” said Llorente, clutching his man of the match award. “My family don’t go on at me, giving me advice about football. What they do is talk about work, effort and sacrifice. And it’s thanks to them that I’ve never given up, which is why I’ve been able to play at the high level that Madrid demand.”
He added: “It’s time to be happy now, to enjoy this title and get some rest over the holidays.” The road to the top is tough, however. Even with a surname like his, there are always battles to be fought and hard times to be endured: “I went a long while without playing and it was tough for me. I had a hard time. We all want to play, all the time, and that’s where the support of my family was so important.”
Aside from his family, Llorente is also grateful to the coach who has given him a chance to fulfil his rich potential. “I owe him everything. Solari is the coach who has put his faith in me. I can only thank him for the opportunity he has given me. I’m very thankful to him and his coaching staff.”
Asked to reveal the secret behind his performances, the young midfielder lists three key habits: “I eat the best I can, I rest, and I do my own fitness work outside training, which helps me be at my best and avoid getting injured.”
Make no mistake, the Llorente saga is set to continue.