Zinedine Zidane is a man who keeps his cards close to his chest, but he was forthright when asked about the possibility of Lucas Vazquez renewing his contract at Real Madrid after their victory over Inter Milan.
“He deserves to stay here,” Zidane said in the San Siro press room in comments carried by Marca. 163 of the 346 games Vazquez has played in the elite has been under the French coach.
Vazquez played 100 games for Castilla before moving to Espanyol in search of Primera football seven years ago, performing so well that Madrid brought him back to the club after a sole season.
That same summer, Los Blancos spent €80m on Colombian star James Rodriquez.
Not only has Vazquez outlasted his more expensive counterpart, but he’s undoubtedly provided more value to his employers.
“He is a canterano who carries Madrid in his heart,” was Zidane’s summation post-Inter.
Vazquez arrived in Madrid in 2007 after being scouted in his native Galicia, working his way up the ladder before his spell in Catalonia with Espanyol.
Since returning to the Spanish capital, Vazquez has played 215 games for Madrid, scoring 24 goals and contributing 48 assists.
He’s won two La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues, despite never being an automatic starter.
Vazquez keeps himself to himself off the pitch, focused on rest and training rather than social media.
He’s a blessing for a coach because he can play anywhere on the right, from right back to the right of a midfield four to on the right wing as an offensive threat.
In Milan he ran 12.5k, more than any other Madrid player.
As well as on the pitch, he’s also a key figure in the dressing room, very good friends with Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric.
Vazquez has attracted significant interest from elsewhere in Europe with his contract due to expire this summer, but his intention is to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.
With performances like his against Inter, he shouldn’t have any problem securing that new deal.
Featured image courtesy of Managing Madrid.