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Mariano Diaz: Why I took Ronaldo’s No 7 at Real Madrid

<> at Bernabeu on November 30, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.

Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz insists that he is unfazed by the pressure involved in donning the iconic No 7 shirt at the club and revealed why he took it

Mariano completed his return to Los Blancos last month from Ligue 1 side Lyon in a €23M deal on a five-year contract.

And, to the surprise of many, he elected to take on the number 7 shirt previously worn by none other than Ronaldo.

“I don’t think it matters much. Does it add some pressure? Sure. But it was free and it’s a number I like and a challenge for me. I’m happy to wear that number after so many legends like Amancio, Juanito, Butragueño, Raul…I saw them play when I was young,” Mariano said on ABC.

“And Ronaldo, sure. It was free for someone to take, every Madrid fan knows it and they asked me what number I was going to take.

“I imagine somebody else could’ve taken it, I don’t know if they wanted to but I don’t think they didn’t dare to take it, there are some quality players who could wear 7 here as well.”

Real teammate Marco Asensio has announced that he will be changing his number 20 sooner or later.

Rumours have been circulating that the Spaniard had been offered Ronaldo’s old number first.

But Mariano doesn’t know much about it.

“He didn’t say anything about it and I’ve been talking with him lately. I congratulated him for the two golazos he scored. We really get along, he’s a very good friend,” he said.

“What would I do if he asked me to change numbers? Well I don’t know, it’s not a huge deal.

“So much people talked to me about it, saying I should not take it, telling me that it brings pressure with it…Everything. I’m not thinking about it, all I’m thiking of is training every single day so that I can play minutes,” added the attacker.