Nacho Fernandez is an exemplary professional and the player that many in the Real Madrid youth system model their dreams after. The 33-year-old is in his 11th season with the first-team, and his 22nd overall at the club. Real Madrid is the only team Nacho has played for and he is one of the rare “one-club-men” active in modern football. He also is the only out-field member of the Real Madrid first team to rise through all the ranks of the academy system and earn direct promotion to the first-team without first returning via a loan or a buy-back option. His contract is set to expire this summer, but Real Madrid remain hopeful that the Spaniard will accept a one-year extension, according to a report from MARCA.
Discouraged by the arrival of Toni Rudiger this summer, Nacho saw his minutes diminish in the first half of the season and for the first time, seriously questioned his future at Real Madrid. Injuries, suspension, and loss of form to key starters like Mendy, Alaba, Lucas Vazquez, and Carvajal has meant the versatile utility man, Nacho, has re-discovered a protagonist role. Nacho has started nine of the last ten league games, he started the second leg of the Champions League against Liverpool and was a MOTM contender in the first leg, and he also started in the Copa del Rey against Barcelona. Big matches are on the horizon: Barcelona 2nd leg, Chelsea home and away — all of which Nacho is expected to start.
His good form and increased playing time have been duly rewarded with a return to the Spanish National team. Given the worrying drop-off in form of Dani Carvajal, many are calling for Nacho to be the starting right back when all players are fit and healthy. Even his solidity at left back, particularly his performances against Salah in the Champions League, have made some questions Mendy’s automatic return to the line-up. Despite all the hurdles and competition, Nacho has once again risen to the occasion and allowed his quality to shine through.
Does his new found role lead him to sign a new contract and continue his Real Madrid story? The club are hopeful and a decision should be expected in the next few months.