With both Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane gone this summer, Real Madrid are looking for their future center-backs.
The arrival of David Alaba and the continuous improvements shown by Eder Militao mean there is no major rush at the Santiago Bernabeu, although Los Blancos are optimistic about the arrival of out-of-contract Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger this summer in an effort to further strengthen their back line.
And while Madrid fans love a big name signing arriving at the Santiago Bernabeu, they are perhaps even more excited when a local player emerges with the talent to become a leader in the first team.
Although they are provisional for the moment, it is hoped that Marvelous Antolin Garzon – known by most as Marvel – will be able to take this step in the years to come and become a central defender that Madrid can build their own. defense for decades.
The 18-year-old has impressed everyone who has watched him so far this season, with the way he handled the rise to the particularly eye-catching Madrid side of Castilla.
Marvel made their first three appearances in the third tier of Spanish football for the club’s reserve side in October, demonstrating both their footballing abilities and their poise for Raul’s side.
His best performance came in a 0-0 draw against Barcelona B in the “Miniclasico”, after which Madrid president Florentino Perez walked into the dressing room to congratulate Marvel on his superb performance in keeping the Blaugrana at bay.
He has since returned to the ranks of Juvenil A (Under 19), but having already been called upon to train with the first team when Zinedine Zidane was in charge, it is clear that the Spain junior international is highly regarded. around Valdebebas.
He’s come a long way since arriving in Spain as a baby, brought to the country by his Nigerian mother, who told authorities Marvel was born in Casablanca, Morocco.
Marvel, however, never knew his birth parents and was adopted at the age of three by Diego and Isabel, with whom he now shares his time after their separation.
He tends to spend more days with Isabel, who lives in the Atocha neighborhood near Madrid’s training complex, with Marvel able to travel by public transport, much like Castilla boss and club legend Raul. when he rose through the ranks at La Fabrica.
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“He’s a very normal boy,” say his parents GOAL. “He loves birds, and he has a lot of them at home. He is also passionate about flamenco, he adores Camaron (a popular Spanish flamenco singer).”
Besides living locally and traveling using the metro, Marvel also has one more thing in common with Raul: he spent part of his youth career across town at Atletico Madrid.
After starting his football studies at Real, Marvel moved to join Atleti for the 2011-12 season. He didn’t stay long, however, joining Alcala’s lower league team a year later before being signed by Rayo Vallecano in 2015.
It was there that he was spotted again by Madrid’s scouts, and he’s been back at Valdebebas since the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
“I’ll never forget it,” says Angel Dongil, Marvel’s trainer at Rayo Vallecano, to GOAL. âHe had been to Real Madrid and Atletico, and I saw him in Alcala. I couldn’t believe that a kid with that potential wasn’t in one of the great academies in Madrid, and I So signed it for Rayo.
“He lasted a year with us because it didn’t take Madrid long to get him back – and watch him now!”
Left footed, six feet tall (184cm) and renowned for his sturdiness, speed and remarkable ability with the ball in his feet, Marvel has previously been compared to Samuel Umtiti, though he models his game on Madrid legend Ramos. His favorite footballer? Current Blancos star Karim Benzema, of course.
His recent performances for Castilla have led Madrid to consider offering the teenager a new contract, despite his current contract until 2025.
There have been reports suggesting Manchester United are interested in bringing Marvel to Old Trafford, however. GOAL can confirm that neither Premier League club have approached the defender.
His future will therefore be in Madrid, but how far can he realistically go?
“I don’t see a cap for him,” said his agent, Alfonso Zapata. GOAL. “I’ve known him from Infantil B (U16) and he’s improved every year.”
La Liga leaders are hopeful this will continue as Marvel develops before they become a regular with the Castilla squad and possibly the first squad.
Having been called up to the Spanish Under-19 squad before, it’s clear that his talent is recognized nationally as well as in the capital, and on his current trajectory he could yet become a household name around the world.
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