• In 2014, Zubizarreta was tied to the end of Mallorca, but the Balearic club wanted 4.5 million in cash and at the Camp Nou they paid in installments
  • The former central defender of the Dream Team Nadal put Barça on alert about the talent that was coming and his nephew, Rafa, later did the same with Madrid

Marco Asensio has reappeared on the horizon of FC Barcelona. the Real Madrid winger likes the Camp Nou technicians and that the Barça club would consider signing him in case the player runs out this season, the last of his current contract, without renewing it. Asensio did not close the door to a future at Barça, during an interview at COPE. “Let’s see what happens,” he said. It would be the second time that Barça has a real option to incorporate Asensio. Eight years ago, when Marco was 18 and playing for Mallorca, he was almost signed by the culé entity.

Seen with perspective, the operation was ruined by a trifle. Miquel Àngel Nadal, a former central defender for Barça in the 1990s, alerted his old club that a very young and talented winger who was going for crack was emerging at Mallorca. His former teammate in the Dream Team directed by Johan CruyffAndoni Zubizarreta, was 2014 the sports director of Barça. Zubizarreta got to work confirming with reports from the Catalans’ own technicians that Nadal’s recommendation was not a ’boutade’. In addition, Asensio himself corroborated through social networks his sporting admiration for that Barça led by Leo Messi. Asensio even spent some time in Barcelona accompanying his mother during an illness that, unfortunately, ended up costing him his life. The end of the story between Asensio and Barça seemed foretold, even more so when the club and player, at that time supervised by Messi’s first representative, Horacio Gaggioli, laid the foundations for his incorporation. The agreement with Mallorca also seemed relatively simple: 4.5 million euros. But that’s where the problem arose, the ‘minority’ that ended up not being so. Mallorca asked for the money tocateja and Barça only offered a deferred payment. The Barça general manager, at that time Antoni Rossich, did not see it clear at that time to pay an amount of money in cash for a promise.

Doubting in these cases is usually the first step to missing a train. Years later he went to Real Madrid with Pedri, who ended up signing for Barça, which in that case did follow the recommendation of another Dream Team legend like Nadal, José Mari Bakero.

Interestingly, it was a close relative of Nadal, by the way even more famous than the former footballer and a very, very Madrid fan, who warned Real that he could not let that bargain escape. Rafa Nadal, today the tennis player with the most ‘Grand Slams’ in history, called the white president Florentino Pérez to go for the signing. The merengue leader telephoned the soccer player directly to tell him that they would go for him and put a private plane at his disposal to travel from Palma de Mallorca to Madrid. Who knows if the airlift will take him to Barcelona in a few months.

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