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Former NYCFC forward Taty Castellanos scores FOUR against Real Madrid

It’s been a day the small mountain town in northern Catalonia will never forget. Girona FC welcomed the mighty Real Madrid to its humble home, the Estadi Montilivi, for a late-season duel. The newly promoted side has attracted attention after several entertaining performances this season, but none will stay as long in the minds and souls of fans as Tuesday's 4-1 battering of the World Champions. 

On a pitch laced with superstars and hundred-million-euro men, former NYCFC forward Taty Castellanos stole the show with a historic performance that saw him became the first non-Spaniard to score four goals in a game against Real Madrid in LaLiga. 

Taty’s goalscoring began early. After a dozen minutes, he grabbed his first. 12 minutes later he had doubled Girona’s advantage with a composed finish. Despite Vinícius Junior halving the lead after 34 minutes, Taty’s day was far from done. 

Just 36 seconds into the second half, the 2021 MLS Golden Boot winner bagged his third and found his fourth only 16 minutes later for a night he and the city of Girona will never forget. 

After 72 glorious minutes, the Argentine forward left the pitch to a thoroughly deserved standing ovation. Chants of “Taty, Taty, Taty” roared from the crowd and supporters bowed to his otherworldly display. The 24-year-old was replaced by club legend Cristhian Stuani, but it was Castellanos who earned his place in the hearts of the Girona faithful.

Real added a consolation goal through Lucas Vázquez but it wasn’t enough as the Catalans ran riot against the Spanish giants. At full-time, Taty ran onto the pitch to celebrate with his teammates, his smile untethered as the Himne del Girona rung out from the crowd that would put a sardine tin to shame. 

With the win, Girona now moves up to eighth in LaLiga, and while European qualification remains highly unlikely for Míchel and his side, midtable obscurity would have been welcomed at the beginning of the season. A host of new signings including Castellanos, Reinier and Viktor Tsygankovhave took the squad to another level as they aimed to avoid relegation in the early days of the season. As the match weeks passed and the results came in, however, the Catalans earned the right to dream bigger.

Since securing promotion via the playoffs last season, Girona has outperformed the other two promoted sides in Real Valladolid CF and UD Almería as they’ve set the league alight. The Catalan side has scored 48 goals this season, good enough for the third most in LaLiga and one more than Atletico Madrid. Taty accounts for 11 of those goals and is the joint-eighth top scorer in the league alongside Antoine Griezmann.

Girona will be hoping to keep hold of their Argentine gem as he is on loan from NYCFC where he won an MLS Cup. As part of the club’s partnership with City Group, Castellanos left New York City to play in Europe and the Catalan outfit has welcomed him with open arms. They say not to fall in love with a loanee, but it might be too late for Girona fans, and deservedly so.

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