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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

Mariano: Following Raul and Ronaldo and being Real Madrid's No 7 is 'enormous responsibility'

The signing from Lyon scored in 3-0 victory over Roma as La Liga side start bid for fourth successive Uefa Champions League title in style

Mariano celebrates his goal for Real Madrid. AP Photo
Mariano celebrates his goal for Real Madrid. AP Photo

Mariano admitted the significance of wearing Real Madrid's cherished No 7 shirt will continue to inspire him after he made a dream second debut for the club.

After swapping Lyon for a return to the Spanish capital last month, Mariano inherited the shirt number previously worn by Cristiano Ronaldo and, before him, Raul.

And Mariano is not underestimating the significance of what has been bestowed upon him as he opened his account in spectacular fashion in the 3-0 Champions League victory over Roma.

He told Real's website: "Wearing the number seven is an enormous responsibility because the players who have worn it in the past were and will continue to be legends. I intend to keep working hard."

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Mariano entered the fray in the 73rd minute, with Real already two goals to the good thanks to Isco and Gareth Bale in their opening Group G encounter, and capped the win with a fine finish.

Mariano collected the ball from Marcelo on the edge of the box, cut inside before expertly rifling into the top corner in the first minute of time added-on.

He added: "I'm very happy with the start, a win and a goal in my opening game.

"I felt the support and warmth from the crowd at the Bernabeu, both in the warm-up and when coming on, and I'm very grateful for how they've welcomed me.

"I couldn't wait. I try and work hard every day to repay the support the fans have shown me."

Real are chasing their fourth successive crown in this competition and dominated almost from the off against a side who reached the semi-final stage last season.