Real Madrid’s new No 7, Mariano has scored a stunning goal on Wednesday night with his side beat Roma 3-0 in their Champions League opening game at Santiago Bernabeu.
The 25-year-old is wearing Cristiano Ronaldo’s old shirt but has made it clear that it’s a number and he respects all those who have worn before.
The iconic number has also been worn by former Madrid captain Raul Gonzalez which makes Mariano having big boots to fill.
“It’s just a number even though I respect those who have worn it,” Mariano said after the game.
After the Los Blancos win, club’s legend Raul went down to the dressing room to congratulate Mariano following his excellent goal.
When asked what his personal goal was this season, Mariano replied: “My personal goal is the same as the team’s goal: we want to win trophies.”
Last season, Lopetegui has revealed that Mariano is an option for Spain when he was finalising his squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
He said before closing his squad selection: “Mariano is Spanish and selectable. We have been to watch him play and we are monitoring him.”
Mariano was dropped during Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao in the La Liga clash last weekend. But when asked about being overlooked in the game, the attacker said: “The coach thought he had to make a different sort of change. I have great respect for the manager.”
Mariano, who played for the Dominican Republic in a friendly against Haiti five years ago believes he will represent Spain one day.
“I was in the pre-list for the Spain squad before. I would love to get back there with Luis Enrique,” he added.