Marco Asensio has revealed that Rafael Nadal played a huge role in the youngster sealing a dream move to Real Madrid.
The 21-year-old has spoken how the 14-time Grand Slam champion phoned club president Florentino Perez to avoid rivals snapping him up.
Asensio signed for Los Blancos in November 2014 from Mallorca for just over £3million, but made his breakthrough season this year where has thrived under Zinedine Zidane.
Speaking to Real Madrid TV, he said: “It is true, Rafa Nadal called Florentino Perez to make sure I didn’t get away.
“When I was presented at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu it was one of the happiest days of my life.”
After excelling on loan at Espanyol last season where his performances earned him two caps for the Spanish national side, his boss decided he was ready for the first team.
Asensio has spoken of his admiration for the legendary Frenchman, he said of him: “I had a poster of Zidane in my room.
“He’s been my idol since I was a kid.
“It is an honour to have him as my coach and follow his advice.”
He has featured in 37 times in all appearances this season, chipping in with nine goals and three assists, helping Madrid to a first La Liga title since 2012.
The attacking midfielder could yet add another honour to his name when his side face Juventus in Cardiff on June 3 in the Champions League final.