Spanish-born Nigerian Winger, Marvin Olawale Akinlabi Park, has been relishing his dream Debut for Real Madrid in Sunday’s Laliga Santander matchday-two goalless draw at Real Sociedad, describing the experience as ‘unforgettable’.
The 20 year old right-winger, known as Marvin Park at Real Madrid, became the first Nigerian to play for Spanish giants’ first team after he replaced young Brazil international, Rodrygo, in the 70th minute at the Reale Arena in San Sebastian. Mutiu Adepoju only featured for Los Blancos’ B team from 1989 to 1992 after leaving Nigerian club, Julius Berger.
“Unforgettable day! So happy for the debut with the @realmadrid in league. Keep working and learning. I love you,” a happy Marvin posted on his Instagram page alongside his photos from the match against Real Sociedad.
Marvin’s Instagram post promptly attracted hundreds of positive comments from the teeming fans of Real Madrid who were equally delighted with the progress of the player who helped their Academy side win the 2019/2020 UEFA Youth League.
Marvin joined Real Madrid U17s in July 2016 from AD Penya Arrabal Youth. He progressed through the ranks to feature for the club’s academy team, Real Madrid Castilla, before Zinedine Zidane handed him his senior team debut on Sunday alongside another youth team product, Sergio Arribas.
Zidane made four substitutions against Real Sociedad and later explained the motive behind the tactical decision that gave Marvin and Arribas their senior debut, as reported by Realmadrid.com.
“We didn’t change the system. It’s tough because you can bring your striker off, but if you put two strikers on that changes the system and I didn’t want to do that,” Realmadrid.com quoted Zidane from his online post match press conference comments at the Reale Arena.
“We had to bring players on in wide areas and that’s what we did. We bossed things early on. We had two or three chances and I don’t think our fitness was an issue. Casemiro didn’t start the game, it was a one-off thing and that’s all there is to it”.
Marvin who was born in Spain to a Nigerian father and South Korean mother, has represented his country of birth once at U-19 level.
Next up for Real Madrid is another Laliga Santander away match against Real Betis on matchday-3, on Saturday, September 26. The reigning champions’ matchday-1 home game against Getafe was rescheduled for February or March 2021 due to their engagement in Europe.
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