Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio has admitted that his case is different and not anything like that of former teammate Alvaro Morata, who left Santiago Bernabeu last summer after being deemed surplus to requirement.
Morata left to join Chelsea last summer after growing frustrated at a lack of playing time under coach Zinedine Zidane, despite netting 20 goals over the course of the season after rejoining the club from Juventus in summer of 2016.
Real’s position of first reserve behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale is currently held by Asensio although fans have begun to question why the young Spaniard is not used more, especially given the La Liga giants’ struggles in front of goal this season.
Asensio, who scored for Real on both his most recent La Liga appearances, is expected to come into the starting XI for Tuesday’s Champions’ League Group H game at Apoel Nicosia, with fellow back-ups Jesus Vallejo and Dani Ceballos also in line to start due to Zidane’s rotation policy and injury list.
He told prematch news conference: “Morata’s case is very different [than mine],” He continued: “When he returned to Madrid, he wanted to be more important. I am 21, just starting out in this. I always want to take advantage of the playing time I get from the coach, whether 15 or 20 minutes, or when starting, so that I can be counted on for important games in future.”
Despite Asensio’s age – 21-years-old -, the Spaniard is already a fan favourite at the Bernabeu and one who they look to when they are in trouble, and earlier this season he netted two long range goals to save a point at home to Valencia.
“I like to have responsibility and feel very comfortable bringing things to the team,” he said. “I do not feel under pressure, more that I like to have this pressure to demonstrate all that I can on the pitch. I’ve started the season well, scored goals, and I want to keep doing well for the team.”
He was asked to sum up teammate Cristiano Ronaldo’s current mood, with the 4-time Ballon d’Or winner having scored just one goal in the 2017-18 La Liga so far, but also scoring six times in the first four Champions League group games.
“I see Cristiano very good as always, very motivated,” he said. “In La Liga he is not having luck in front of goal, but he always returns to form. He’ll get back to the numbers we are used to seeing.”
A win tonight will secure their passage to the round of 16, although a draw or defeat could mean the final group game against Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund at the Bernabeu on December 6 becomes a qualification eliminator.
“We have come here to win the game,” Asensio said. “We know Champions League games are always very demanding, they are a tough opponent, even more at home. They need to win to stay alive in the competition. But we want to ensure we qualify for the last 16 and play a good game.”