Marco Asensio says he’s not yet thinking about winning the Ballon d’Or after signing a new contract with Real Madrid.
The 21-year-old this week extended his deal at the Bernabeu by one season until June 2023.
After scoring in the Champions League final in May, Asensio added goals in both legs of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona and followed that up with a brace against Valencia last month.
“It’s a very important day. Extending my contract with the world’s largest club is an honour,” he told reporters at a news conference on Friday.
“Last year was a great year in which I grew a lot. This year we’ve started very well. My goals are the same: to win lots of titles with Real Madrid. I’m very happy.”
But Asensio said he’s racing to step into the footsteps of his teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the Ballon d’Or four times in his career.
“To receive praise from Cristiano Ronaldo, from a player like him who has won everything, is great,” Asensio said. “I don’t think about the Ballon d’Or, I’m young and I’m going step by step. “
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) September 29, 2017
On Ronaldo’s impact, he added: “I’m surprised by Cristiano Ronaldo every day because of the ambition he has to win. That infects all his teammates.”
Asensio has started four of Madrid’s six games in La Liga this season and was a substitute against Dortmund in the Champions League this week, but he said he wasn’t pushing Zinedine Zidane for more playing time.
“The coach already knows how he has to deal with me. I have my goals and my goal is to always play,” he said. “I understand that there are other players and we have to share minutes because we are a team and last year we won everything like that.
“Right now there are other players who are more important. I’m young, I’m happy here and I want to live year by year and step by step.
“I feel important, I’m in good form. Whenever the coach gives me minutes, I’ll try to take advantage of them.”
Asensio also said his goal as a substitute in the Champions League final, which Madrid won 4-1, was the highlight of his career so far.
“It’s a dream goal,” he said. “To be able to compete in a Champions League final, to win it with Real Madrid and to score was incredible and exciting.”
Asensio’s extension comes in the same week that Real Madrid also locked up Raphael Varane until 2022.
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