Real Madrid: Athenea made the whole world take notice of her quality

Real Madrid Femenino have one of the most exciting players on the planet – if not THE most exciting. And yet, she almost was not even called up to her national team for their tournament during this international break.

Athenea del Castillo was among the players who represented Spain in the 2022 Arnold Clark Cup, alongside other standouts for Madrid in Ivana Andres, Esther Gonzalez, Marta Cardona, Olga Carmona, and Misa. (Only two other clubs, Manchester City and Barcelona, had more participants in this tournament among the four countries!)

It is wild to think that Athenea was initially not called up to the Spanish squad, though, because she ended up being the best player in the Arnold Clark Cup. Yes, she was the best player not just for Spain, but among all the players who took the field for Spain, champions England, and Germany.

Athenea was on another level. She first impressed as a substitute in a 0-0 draw with England, coming off the bench to absolutely roast the most acclaimed fullback in the world, Lucy Bronze. I have not seen Bronze struggle that much against a winger in a long time – if ever – and that is a huge feather in Athenea’s cap.

Athenea was the best player of the 2022 Arnold Clark Cup

She was also incredible in a 1-0 win over Canada, pulling off some trademark nutmegs and exciting dribbles. Her playing style captivated the fans watching, particularly those who had not seen her with Real Madrid. Athenea was untouchable, confidently taking defenders on and just teasing them to foul her.

Madridistas have been enamored with Athenea’s direct playing style, fleet feet, slick skills, and devastating acceleration ever since she joined the club in a loaded summer 2021 transfer window.

And for her efforts in the 2022 Arnold Clark Cup, Athenea was named the Player of the Tournament. The fact that she only started one game is further indication of how much better she was than everyone else on the pitch.

More fans all over the world now know who Athenea is. Just 21 years old, Athenea has already made a profound impact as a first-year Madridista. Now, she has made an MVP-level impact on the global stage, outshining established superstars like Bronze.

Madridistas should feel blessed to have such an exciting, talented, and, most of all, effective player in their ranks. She is a joy to watch every week, and this is just the first significant individual honor of many for the Real Madrid winger.