Bryan Zaragoza will never forget Monday, October 9, 2023. In what was undoubtedly the biggest night of his young career so far, the 22-year-old scored two goals against Barcelona in Granada to help the Andalusian club secure a 2-2 draw. Opponent, he then learned that he had been called up to the Spanish national team by Luis de la Fuente, replacing the injured Yeremy Pino.
It is often said that good things come to those who wait patiently, but Zaragoza clearly does not believe in this adage as he walked away with a sense of urgency and purpose from the first whistle of Granada's Round 9 match let's go. With the world watching, the winger wasted no time breaking the deadlock just 17 seconds into the game, firing a powerful shot past Marc-Andre ter Stegen with his first touch. André ter Stegen's fingers.
In the 27th minute of the game, he received the ball on the left wing, swung left and right to get rid of Jules Koundé's defense, and then sent the ball into Ter Stegen's goal for the second time with great confidence to expand the score. It's 2-0. Although Barcelona later fought back and tied the score, it was still a special night for the home fans at Estadio Caménez, and Zaragoza was the star of the night.
He gave Barcelona's defenders a headache throughout the game. As Zaragoza explained to the media after the game: "Barcelona's players congratulated me, and they told me during the game not to run anymore!"
However, Zaragoza never stops running. His playing style is mainly dribbling, and he has said that he often observes Real Madrid's Vinícius, who is widely regarded as the best dribbler at present, and he expects to learn from the Brazilian player. Learn something. This learning is paying off, as Zaragoza currently leads La Liga with 3.1 successful sets per game.
Explaining his playing style in a post-match interview with DAZN, he said: "I play to dribble. I don't play to chase the ball or anything. I've been a street footballer since I was a kid, and I've been a street footballer all my life. Playing in the streets, that's why I play."
The streets where Zaragoza grew up were in the La Pamilia neighborhood of Malaga, but he spent most of his formative years in Granada. In the 2020/21 season, he was loaned out to Ejido to gain experience, and then returned and gradually entered the Granada first team. The winger really came into his own at the end of the 2022/23 season, with his three goals in the final three games of last season playing a decisive role in helping the club win the Segunda División title and secure promotion.
After being promoted to Spain's top flight, Zaragoza has continued to progress, having scored five goals and provided one assist. In every game this season whenever Granada has secured at least a point, Zaragoza has either scored or assisted, underscoring his importance.
He will now seek a role in the Spanish national team, having traveled to Madrid on Monday afternoon to join the country's best players. In the past this scenario was just a dream for Zaragoza. But his performance in the early hours of Monday morning pushed him to another level.
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