Nigerian Wing-Back Makes Full Debut For Real Madrid First Team In Win Against Getafe

Published: February 10, 2021
Nigerian Wing-Back Makes Full Debut For Real Madrid First Team In Win Against Getafe
Real Madrid beat Getafe 2-0 in a rescheduled La Liga match on Tuesday thanks to second half goals from Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy.

Los Blancos coach Zinédine Zidane took everyone by surprise by naming Spanish-born Nigerian youngster Marvin Akinlabi in his starting lineup - his full debut for the first team since joining the club in 2016.

His two previous appearances prior to yesterday's fixture came against Real Sociedad and SD Huesca, logging 32 minutes in total in the two La Liga matches.

He has been on the fringes of the first team after impressing in a pre-season friendly against Getafe back in September.

In a 3-4-3 formation, Akinlabi, who is predominantly a right winger, was deployed as a right wing-back and he caught the eye before he was replaced by Sergio Arribas in the 55th minute after suffering an injury.

Zidane explained in his post-match press conference that his first change was supposed to be Vinícius for Arribas but he changed his plan after Akinlabi's injury.

"Yes, we planned to take Vinícius off. But then Marvin Park hurt himself and we changed our plans," Zidane told reporters.

Akinlabi helped Real Madrid win last season's UEFA Youth League and his strike against Inter Milan was awarded the best goal of the competition. 

Ifeanyi Emmanuel

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