He was just 16 years old when he arrived in the Youth System of Real Madrid in 2007. Three years later, in the 2010-11 season – he made his senior debut for the C team. In the Segunda Division B 2011-12 campaign – he scored four goals in 23 games to help the reserves return to the second division after a five-year absence.

He scored his first professional goal in October 2012, netting the winner against UD Las Palmas. Then in 2014, he was loaned to RCD Espanyol and one year later, Real Madrid exercised their buyback clause and he returned to the club.

Since then, the Curtis-born lad has been playing wearing the white shirt and the journey in Santiago Bernabeu for Lucas Vazquez has never been a rosy one.

In Real Madrid, it is never easy to stamp your authority until and unless you prove yourself the best to reach the top level. It is the club for the champions and the opportunities you would get are little and within that limited opportunity, you have to deliver – otherwise, either you have to warm the bench or search for other clubs.

Vazquez replaced Karim Benzema for the final 15 minutes during the league fixture against Real Sociedad and scored – Real won the match.

He contributed with seven appearances in the season’s UEFA Champions League, as the tournament ended in a win; in the final against Atletico Madrid, he again came on for Benzema late into the second half of a 1–1 draw and converted his attempt in the penalty shootout triumph.

Vazquez started the 2016 UEFA Super Cup against fellow Spaniards Sevilla FC, providing an assist to Sergio Ramos in injury time to take the game to extra time, where Real Madrid eventually won.

Vazquez appeared 33 times during 2016–17 and scored twice.

He added ten matches in the campaign’s Champions League, scoring once in the group stage as his team also conquered the latter tournament.

In the season that Zidane said goodbye in 2017-18, Vazquez played a part in 53 games of which he started 27 but still didn’t have the continuity that he has at present. The best row of games he played was a chain of four, nevertheless, the youngster proved to be a vital part of the team.

The 2018-19 season was not up to the mark for him – Santiago Solari started Vazquez 13 times on the trot before dropping him against Barcelona so that he would be fresh for the Champions League tie with Ajax. On that dark night against Ajax, Vazquez was invisible.

Neither the campaign in 2019-20 was smooth.

There were speculations that Vazquez would leave Real Madrid because he has not enough to offer for the club.

But opportunities did arrive in front of him.

Injuries and COVID-19 ravaged the players of Royal Whites and when Dani Carvajal suffered a serious injury, it opened the door for Vazquez to fill the gap and in the course of time, Vazquez became the go-to-man of Zinedine Zidane on the right flank.

Zidane used him as a right-winger upfront and as the right-back as well – at the start, while switching positions hampered the rhythm of Vazquez but later on, Vazquez fit so well that right now he has become an integral part of the team.

Zidane invested faith in Vazquez and the lad never let his coach down.

Despite not being a defender, Zidane had faith in the Spaniard. He could have gone for the more natural replacements such as Nacho, Alvaro Odriozola, or Eder Militao but opted against it to unlock the full potentials of Vazquez.

This season, in La Liga he has played 859 minutes and taken 0.6 shots outside the box either as a full-back or right-winger. His passing accuracy has been 86%, 0.8 shots per game, 0.3 aerials won per game, assisted, and scored once.

Out 540 minutes in the Champions League, Vazquez has featured in 450 minutes where his passing accuracy has been 90%, 1.6 shots per game, and assisted once.

Vazquez has created 4.03 shots in 2020-2021 thus far across all competitions and has made 8 of his 13 starts this season at right-back.

Vazquez has offered a lot of pressings higher up the pitch, he has allowed a lot of movement on the pitch with the ball at his feet and without the ball, and his movements helped Real to retain possessions. Defensively, he looked very sound – quickly returning to his full-back position during the transitions where Real suffered very much this season.

Zinedine Zidane says Lucas Vazquez “has Real Madrid in his heart” and deserves to be offered a new contract by the club.

“He always gives everything for us. I have always valued him and what he gives to us on the pitch,” told Zidane

“Now he is having the opportunity to show us what he is all about. He was a youth player for us and has Madrid in his heart. I’m happy for him and the team.”

“He is an important player and the club knows it. I think it will happen that he will renew.”

Vazquez has proved, he can deliver even better if given more opportunities, and thus, Real Madrid should stick to him.

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