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'Never say never' - Cheryshev's father not ruling out Real Madrid return for Russian star

08:36 BST 18/04/2019
Denis Cheryshev Valencia CF
The midfielder was a star at the World Cup last summer and has overcome his injury struggles to put together a solid campaign in La Liga

Denis Cheryshev’s father is open to his son making a return to Real Madrid in the future.  

The 28-year-old was a star for host country Russia at the World Cup last summer and, finally free from injury, has put together a solid season at club level, where he is on loan to Valencia from Villarreal.  

Those two sides will meet in the second leg of a Europa League quarter-final on Thursday, with Cheryshev having helped his side to a commanding 3-1 lead in the first leg.   

"Today, I'm pleased to see that Denis has confidence in himself, and that at every match, his level of investment and work is increasing,” his father Dmitry, a former Russian international who is currently a manager for Russian second division side FC Nizhny Novgorod, told Goal.  

“He is taking more and more initiative and he's trying to do even more work, both defensive and finishing. 

“For me, and I speak as a coach and not as a father, I am satisfied with 90 per cent of the work he does this season.” 

The older Cheryshev sees the 2018 World Cup as a turning point for his son’s career, as it has boosted the winger’s belief in himself.  

"The World Cup helped him, and by scoring a lot of goals in the finest competition, every football player feels his wings growing. So those of Denis have grown and today he believes in himself and in his abilities.” 

Cheryshev has had a rocky road as a professional, failing to lock down a regular club over the course of his career, much of which was spent on loan from Spanish giants Real Madrid.  

And despite Los Blancos having sent his son out on numerous occasions, Dmitry is still of the opinion that Denis has the quality to play for one of Spain’s top sides, and he wouldn’t rule out a return to the capital club.  

"You know, when he belonged to Real Madrid, he was often on loan and as soon as he signed his first contract he was loaned out because there was little opportunity to play. 
“At one point, he came back and began to accumulate playing time. But in the middle of the season, he realised that in order to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and other stars of the team, there is a need to play and prove his value. Having had very little opportunities, it was difficult for him to compete.  

“But what I see is that every time Denis was loaned, he always came back to Real. Because the club did not want to let him go. At one point, they decided to let him go to Villarreal once and for all. In this team, he played a year but as the club was in an unstable situation, that's why they released him also.  

“But, sure if he had only played in one club during this period, there would have been consistency and it would have been profitable.   
“A come back to Real Madrid in the future? In Russian language, we always say ‘never say never’.”