The Beast

Full Name: Mariano Díaz Mejía

Birth Date: 1 August 1993

Place of Birth: Spain

Playing Years: 2002 to present

Position(s): Forward

Football Club (Current): Real Madrid

Formative Years and Career

Mariano Díaz Mejía was born in Premià de Mar, Barcelona to a Spanish father and Dominican mother. He started his youth career in RCD Espanyol, and later played for CE Premià and Fundació Sánchez Llibre consecutively.

He joined CF Badalona in 2009, and, in 2011, made his senior debut in the same team. In the same year, he returned to youth football, this time, with Real Madrid, staying with them until 2017. In the following year, he went back to senior football, this time, with Real Madrid, and, in the year next, he got back to senior football, being promoted to Madrid’s second reserve team.

In 24 October 2014, Mariano scored all his team’s goal in a 3-1 victory against UD Socuéllamos. He repeated this feat in April 2016 when his team won 3-0 victory against SD Gernika. Later that month, he was promoted to Madrid’s main team by manager Zinedine Zidane, and made his senior debut with a 2-1 victory over Celta de Vigo. Furthermore, he was included in the team that led Madrid to victory during the season 2016-17 of La Liga, and UEFA Champions League of the same season.

In June 2017, Mariano left Real Madrid for Olympique Lyonnais with a fee of €8 million, and made a debut on June of the same year with a 4-0 win over Strasbourg in the 2017-18 Ligue 1. He scored 18 goals in the 2017-18 season of Ligue 1 that had put him to the top league tables, earning the moniker “La Bête” (the Beast).

Mariano’s mother is a native of San Juan de la Maguana in Dominican Republic, and, thus, he was eligible for the country’s national team. On March 2013, he led the team to a 3-1 victory in an international friendly with Haiti. Mariano, however, left the national team to avoid his name being tied to Dominican Republic too much, as he was expecting a possible inclusion to the Spanish national team.

In August 2013, Mariano returned to Real Madrid with a transfer fee of €23 million. He received the number 7 shirt, previously worn by Cristiano Ronaldo. He made his debut on September 2018, scoring the last goal of a 3-0 win against Roma during the 2018-2019 season of  UEFA Champions League.

Possible transfer to Napoli

In the most recent reports, the SSC Napoli is currently eyeing Mariano and was said to be setted for transfer on January 2019. The Italian club’s head coach Carlos Ancelotti is apparently an admirer of the Spanish-Dominican player.

By @EliaasMJ

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