Lucas Vazquez & Nacho: Real Madrid’s unsung heroes ready to be called on again

That description is not much of an exaggeration, because throughout the last decade Vazquez’s steady presence down the right flank – either as a traditional winger or a marauding full-back – has been a consistent feature of an otherwise ever-evolving team.

Born in the north-west Spanish region of Galicia, Vazquez relocated to the capital to join Real at the age of 16. After progressing through the club’s junior ranks, he was elevated to senior football with a season-long loan at Espanyol in 2014-15.

Immediately proving to be a tireless performer who combined a great team ethic with attacking end product, he made 39 appearances during that debut campaign and was promoted to Real’s senior squad upon his return.

Since then he has never been far from the action, making at least 30 appearances every season except 2019-20, when he missed time with a broken toe.

In the presence of stars such as Gareth Bale, Rodrygo and Carvajal on the right, Vazquez has rarely been a regular starter. But he’s always been prepared to patiently wait for his turn to deliver, and – as demonstrated by Bellingham’s show of affection – he’s certainly appreciated in the dressing room.

Vazquez is likely to be around for a while longer – though his contract expires this summer, he’s thought to be close to agreeing a new deal to extend his Bernabeu stay.

And from his recent performances, he’s certainly earned it.

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