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Despite the Caribbean island is known for its baseball tradition, these two athletes were awarded in the Spanish football
The Dominican Republic is a country known for its excellence in baseball, however, there are several Dominicans who have excelled in other sportive disciplines, such as football, so much so that they have even become great players in European leagues.
Leer en español: Estos dos dominicanos destacan en la Liga de España
Mariano Díaz, 25 years old, is a center forward born in Barcelona, Spain. His mother emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the European country. Mariano started his football career at Espanyol, but made his professional debut in 2011 with CF Badalona, a team with participation in the second division B of the Spanish league, according to the Tele13 newspaper.
Then, Real Madrid hired him to play in the youth team. In the Real Madrid C third division, he scored 18 goals in two seasons. In 2014, the player came to Real Madrid Castilla of the second division B, according to El Economista, the same year that Zidane occupied the position of coach of Castilla.
With Zidane as coach of the first team of Real Madrid, in 2016, Mariano Diaz saw his chance to play the first division of Spain, after a successful season with Castilla in which he scored 27 goals, according to the newspaper As.
Mariano would play a single season with Real Madrid, adding only 14 games in which he scored 5 goals. One of his goals was the fastest recorded in the Copa del Rey of Spain, at 24 seconds, according to Tele13, from where he was sold to the French team Olympique de Lyon for 8 million euros, reported the newspaper Marca.
In France, Mariano completed a successful season with 20 goals in 43 games, which is why in the following year, Real Madrid bought him back for 22 million euros. There, he inherited Cristiano Ronaldo's number 7 and debuted with a goal in the Champions League, however, played few games with the white team and has no scored more goals at the moment.
Junior Firpo is another figure that represents the Dominican Republic in European football. With 22 years of age and born in the Caribbean country -from where he emigrated with his family at 6 years of age-, Junior has just started a career that seems promising, becoming the undisputed holder with Real Betis of the Spanish first division, according to As.
However, before reaching the bottom of Real Betis in 2015, Junior went through several amateur teams in Malaga, despite the fact that according to an interview with El Correo Web, the Dominican returned crying from his training with Atlético Benamiel because he did not like football. Today, he already has three goals and an assistance in the current season of Betis, in addition to the debut in the Europa League.
Disinterest in the selection
With a position in the 154th place in the FIFA Ranking, the Dominican Republic is not an option for both players, who also intend to play for Spain.
For this reason, Junior confirmed to the newspaper As that if this European team calls him, he will come. For his part, Mariano said that despite being called by the Caribbean team, which has already scored a goal, he preferred to reject the invitation waiting to be called by Spain, reported in an interview in Diario Libre.
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Bacallado
Translated from "Estos dos dominicanos destacan en la Liga de España"