Mariano Diaz has insisted that being labelled as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid only motivates him
Mariano rejoined Real Madrid for a reported €23m after spending a season at Lyon, where he scored 18 goals in Ligue 1.
Diaz came through Los Blancos’ youth system, before being sold under Zinedine Zidane,
In an interview with ‘El Partidazo’ on the radio station COPE Mariano said: “Well, many people have told me [I am brave for taking the shirt], other people have also told me bad things.
“It’s a pressure to carry that number, but others have told me that I should not have chosen it. I’ve had everything [said to me].
The one-cap Dominican Republic international revealed it was the ‘challenge’ to follow in the footsteps of club legends which motivated him to choose the number.
He continued: “It was a number that was free and to me it is a number that I like. It’s a personal challenge and I’m happy to wear the number that has been worn by many stars, like Amancio [Amaro], Juanito, [Emilio] Butragueno, Raul, and Cristiano, of course.
“Ever since I was little, I’ve seen them play and I’m happy.”
While hinting at the criticism and even anger his signing in the wake of Ronaldo’s exit has received from some fans, Mariano added that being labelled as a ‘replacement’ for the Portuguese only motivates him
He said: “It does not piss me off, it motivates me, if anything, it motivates me to be here every day.
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