Asensio: Rafa Nadal told Real Madrid to sign me
Marco Asensio has revealed how tennis star Rafael Nadal helped to convince Real Madrid to sign him from Real Mallorca.
The 21-year-old completed a move to the LaLiga champions in 2015 and has established himself as a key part of Zinedine Zidane's plans this season, having spent last season on loan at Espanyol.
Asensio has claimed that 14-time major-winner Nadal – born in Mallorca and a lifelong Madrid fan – spoke to president Florentino Perez to ensure that the transfer went ahead.
"That story is true," Asensio told Real Madrid TV. "He called Florentino and told him to snap me up.
"That winter  my agent told me that Real Madrid were interested in me. Several clubs were calling and it was a bit hectic, but one day before a game Florentino called me and said I was going to be a Real Madrid player.
"It all happened in a single day: we went to Madrid, I signed the contract, we were shown round the [Santiago] Bernabeu and [the training ground in] Valdebebas and then we went back to Mallorca to finish the season.
"It all happened very quickly and it was intense, but I felt a huge sense of satisfaction."
Asensio has made 37 appearances for Madrid this season in all competitions, scoring nine goals.
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) May 24, 2017