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Nico Paz – Real Madrid’s Castilla jewel and young Argentine Champions League goalscorer

It has been an exciting few weeks for the Argentines across the world. Alejandro Garnacho scored a belter of a goal for Manchester United against Everton last weekend – certainly a Puskas contender.

The Argentine senior team silenced Brazil at Maracana in the World Cup qualifiers although the clash was marred by the riot between police and fans.

The U17 team followed suit by humbling La Selecao 3-0 in the quarter-finals of the U17 World Cup, with Claudio Echeverri registering a memorable hat-trick.

His River Plate teammate Agustin Ruberto was also one of the finds of the tournament, netting eight goals, including a hat-trick in the semi-final against Germany, although it ended in a lost cause.

The joyous period appears to continue as the Argentine teen sensation Nico Paz had a moment to savour in Real Madrid’s Champions League clash against Napoli.

Coming off the bench when the score was 2-2, the 19-year-old scored a sensational goal in the 84th minute to put his side ahead, with Joselu later delivering the killer blow in injury time.

The Castilla star became the second youngest Argentine goalscorer in the Champions League, surpassing Garnacho and sitting behind legendary Lionel Messi.

Nico Paz enjoying a surreal run this season

Having been a cornerstone of Madrid’s youth ranks and considered one of the standout talents of Castilla, there were lofty expectations about when he could break into the first team.

It looked as though the wait could go on after he regularly made the bench without getting a look-in this season while he continued to deliver the goods for Castilla in Spain’s third division.

The much-awaited moment came against Braga in the Champions League as he made his maiden senior appearance for Los Blancos before making his La Liga debut a few weeks later against Valencia.

However, his precocious talent was recognised by Argentina much earlier as he has been regularly summoned by La Albiceleste over the past year. His name was also on the preliminary squad list for last year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Paz’s incredible strike from outside the box stole the limelight last night, with equally elated teammates swarming him in celebration.

He described the goal as a dream come true, while manager Carlo Ancelotti also praised the teenager.

Paz cannot be pigeonholed to a specific role as he is highly versatile and can play as a centre-forward, right-winger and an attacking or central midfielder.

It has been a while since a Castilla product has become a prominent fixture for the first team, and Paz will be looking to buck the trend.

The Argentine prodigy has already turned the heads of many people by seizing his opportunity, and he will hope for more chances in the upcoming games.

Paz is undoubtedly next in the line of top-quality talents to emerge from Argentina, and his senior team debut will be only a matter of time.

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