Real Madrid are sitting pretty on a 5-2 lead in their Champions League tie against Liverpool, after romping to victory at Anfield. Los Blancos were able to stem the tide after conceding twice in the opening 15 minutes, in no small part down to Nacho Fernandez.
“It’s bittersweet to come on because a teammate has been injured,” Nacho told Diario AS.
“It was a very special game for me, because I was celebrating 300 games with Real Madrid and that’s something incredible.”
Nacho replaced David Alaba early on after the Austrian picked up a hamstring injury. He managed to deal with Mohamed Salah effectively, shoring up the Real Madrid defence.
It was the latest in a long line of examples of Nacho stepping up when called upon. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, they may not be able to do so next campaign.
“I still haven’t decided what to do. It is a personal and family decision. I don’t want this to be understood as a message to the club. We maintain a good relationship and they will be the first to know my decision.”
Nacho admitted that he struggled earlier in the season, as he was left out by Carlo Ancelotti. The 33-year-old started just one of Real Madrid’s opening 16 La Liga games.
“I had a really bad time because I thought I deserved to play more. A lot of things went through my head.”
His versatility and attitude have been key to Real Madrid’s success in recent years. Being able to call on a reliable defender, capable of playing across the back line, is a rare luxury. Should they lose him, his absence iwll be felt.