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Mariano Diaz 'honoured' to wear number seven

16 September 2018

The striker who came through Los Blancos' youth system, before being sold under Zinedine Zidane, has taken the iconic number seven shirt at the Santiago Bernabeu - something he admits has attracted a fair amount of attention. We respect Real Madrid, their president, Florentino Pérez, but I think that it's important for everyone not to work behind the scenes.

"I'm happy to wear that number after so many legends like Amancio, Juanito, Butragueño, Raul..."

Madrid are looking to continue their dominance within European football and replace their former star and record-breaker Cristiano Ronaldo. "Yes [it weighs heavy], but it was free, it's a number that I like and it's a personal challenge". I asked what numbers are free.

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He said: "It does not piss me off, it motivates me, if anything, it motivates me to be here every day". According to recent reports, Neymar Jr. and Real Madrid have already agreed for a transfer before the next season.

"I spoke with Julen Lopetegui two weeks earlier and he told me he wanted me to stay". Other people have told me bad things.

"It's a pressure to carry that number, but others have told me that I should not have chosen it".

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"I had the option of going to Sevilla, Alaves or Levante", he said.

"Everything pointed at me staying with Real Madrid, but the last week changed everything".

"That is something which I appreciated very much but then Madrid called, which is the club of my dreams and here I am. They knew that the club I love is Madrid, so I guess they have to understand".

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Mariano Diaz 'honoured' to wear number seven