Less than a month ago and with the full support of Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, Dominican player Mariano Diaz signed a first team contract with the Galácticos. The signing didn’t cause much of an uproar, since 22-year-old Diaz was already on Castilla, Real Madrid’s youth squad, where he is currently the top scorer. Giving a definite boost to this promising player’s career, it was confirmed this week that Diaz has secured a spot on Real Madrid’s Champions League roster, making him the first Real Madrid player of Dominican descent to participate in Europe’s most prestigious soccer tournament. Swiss-Dominican defender Heinz Barmettler played for underdogs Zurich FC in the 2009-10 competition, but no other Dominican has made it to Real Madrid’s Champions League squad.
After Real Madrid’s 2-0 victory over Roma on Wednesday, this means there are high chances Mariano gets to debut on March 8 in Madrid, during the second-leg game of the second round elimination series.
Díaz, a Barcelona-born forward who joined Madrid’s cantera in the summer of 2012, represents the Dominican Republic in international competition. He debuted with DR when he scored a goal in a 3-1 friendly with Haiti in 2012.
Mariano’s name might be new to the world of soccer, but given the promise he has shown and the team he plays for, he might be here to stay.