Canada’s Cyle Larin proves himself in La Liga
Valladolid’s new hero
Canada’s record international goalscorer Cyle Larin hit the ground running in Spain’s La Liga when he scored a match-winning goal for Real Valladolid against Valencia after he had been brought on as a substitute. Given the club were mired in a demotion dogfight it was a pivotal moment, and since then Larin has added another four goals to his tally to help Valladolid surge up the table.
The new Ibra
Only Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Robert Lewandowski have scored more often than Larin has in their first eight La Liga matches, an impressive achievement for anyone, let alone a player who seemed to have dropped off the radar after struggling at Club Bruges before arriving in Spain on loan.
In his comfort zone
But Larin feels at home at Valladolid where the ball is being put into the box regularly, so that he can use his aerial prowess to good effect. He thinks there is more to come as he gets used to his team-mates and the coach’s plans.
The 25-year-old, who has already scored 26 times for his major league, college, MLS and national sides, point out that scoring is not his only role. His coach wants him to put in efforts up the pitch, to relieve the defense and help to keep possession.
Big stage beckons
Having proved he can play in La Liga is not enough for Larin. He wants to take his game to the next level and play against the best in the league. Two trips to visit giants Real Madrid, and games against other huge teams such as Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona, will offer the chance to prove himself.
Press conference prowess
Larin, who is a man of few words, is even willing to speak to the press in Spanish, a challenge that he has set himself. Should he succeed, it will be a further sign of his determination and ability to adjust to new challenges.