Real Madrid: Marco Asensio is back and better than ever

Real Madrid, Marco Asensio (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Marco Asensio (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio sparkled against Valencia.

There are few things in life quite as sweet as watching someone you care about returning from a devastating setback. What is even more special, is when their return is as perfect as they could ever picture it. In the case of 24-year old Real Madrid youngster Marco Asensio, his return couldn’t have gone any better.

The Spanish international went through a major setback when he suffered a devastating injury during a pre-season tournament game against Arsenal. The star winger was coming off two consecutive seasons of winning the UEFA Champions League title with Real Madrid, scoring a goal in the 2017 final against Juventus. Asensio suffered a complete tear to his ACL that immediately ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Madrid ended up coming from behind to defeat Arsenal 3-2 that day, however, the squad, the coaching staff, and the front office were all utterly devastated. Asensio was destined to finally have his breakout season as a legitimate superstar that could possibly compete at the highest level as an individual, with the likes of Neymar, Eden Hazard, and Kylian Mbappe.

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However, his season was written-off before he could even get started, which left the entire footballing world wondering if one of the brightest young stars in the game could bounce back from what many believed was a career-altering injury.

It was heart-wrenching watching him weep as he was stretchered off the pitch against Arsenal. Real Madrid fans, much like everyone else, had to watch in agony and disbelief, wondering if Asensio would now suffer the same fate as the likes of Asier Illarramendi and Jese Rodriguez whose careers were vehemently damaged by injuries. Asensio received surgery on his injured knee and afterwards, his rehabilitation process commenced.

After 10 months of rehabbing his injury on the sidelines, Asensio was included in Real Madrid’s squad list to face Valencia on June 18th.

The Spaniard was substituted in the game during the 72nd minute of play when Madrid held a shaky 1-0 lead. After sharing a quick laugh with Zizou on the sidelines, he made his mark by scoring the game-clinching goal just 31 seconds into his return.

Marco Asensio is back. I know that one goal doesn’t mean much in the large scale of his return, but the fact he faced such difficult adversity, worked extremely hard to get back to peak playing shape and scored a beauty with that gorgeous left foot he has often amazed us with, proves that he does carry the mindset of a player eager to prove he is the best in the world. As long as Marco stays healthy and keeps his nose to the grind (which I have no doubt he will), his ceiling could be even higher than it was beforehand.

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Asensio’s battle with adversity may have been a knock to his physical shape, but there is no doubt it was also an incredible learning experience that has added to his mental toughness. Ultimately, the success of his return will depend on how the rest of his career plays out, however, there is credence to the thought that this setback could be a blessing in disguise. Until he can prove it on the pitch, I will be preaching it anywhere I can, he is back.