Mariano relishing No 7 jersey

Mariano Diaz is relishing ‘the challenge and pride’ of taking the No 7 shirt at Real Madrid but refused to mention Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mariano was unveiled as Madrid’s new No 7 on Friday, having returned from Olympique Lyonnais in a €23m deal, and the striker only referred to Emilio Butragueno among his ‘legendary’ predecessors.

“It feels incredible. I’m fulfilling a dream by coming back,” he began.

“The No 7 is a challenge, but it’s also a source a pride to wear a number that so many legends wore, such as Butragueno.

“I’m very happy to be here and do my bit. It’s a very special day for me. It’s the best day of my life because I’m at the best club in the world and it would be a source of pride if Spain called me up.

“Madrid are the club of my dreams. They wanted me back and raised me. That makes me here today.

“You improve when you go away from somewhere. I’m back here to work hard, help my teammates and the team.

“Lyon will stay in my heart. They helped me mature and grow so I could come back. I also have only have words of gratitude and pride for Sevilla’s interest, but today I’ve signed for the best club in the world and I’m very happy.

“Lopetegui called me. Much of my decision had to do with him. He told me he’d be very happy if I came back.

“I want give my maximum for the team and my teammates. I hope we win trophies and keep making history.

“My role is to be one more player here and work in a family. When you leave your home you’re sad, but when Julen called me I was nervous and happy.”

Tags Cristiano Ronaldo Julen Lopetegui Mariano Diaz