Taty Castellanos made a terrible mistake in a one-on-one match against Barcelona two weeks before, and as a result of the abuse he experienced from Girona supporters, he was compelled to erase his social media accounts.
Against Real Madrid on Tuesday, the former Major League Soccer scoring leader more than made up for it.
In Girona's 4-2 victory against Madrid in the Spanish league, Castellanos scored four goals, a reversal he said he didn't believe was possible.
The 24-year-old Argentine added, “It's a dream to be able to score against Madrid, one of the greatest teams in the world, but to score four times, I could never have dreamed.
“It was a dreamy night.”
Castellanos, who is on loan from New York City FC for one season, scored twice in each half to assist the Catalan club in shocking the league champions.
Additionally, he got four goals in an MLS match with New York last year against Real Salt Lake. However, he had just made headlines in Spain after missing a clear opportunity to score in Girona's 0-0 draw with Barcelona at Camp Nou Stadium on April 10, sparking a barrage of online slurs.
According to Girona coach Michel, “the other day he had a miss against Barcelona and it looked like it was the end of the world for him.”
“However, this is his first season in Europe, coming from a league that is very good but has nothing in common with Europe in terms of rhythm, tactics, and situations. He had to adapt to that, and I think he has been doing that perfectly,” the author said.
In a little more than an hour of play and with only five tries, Castellanos scored four goals. At Montilivi Stadium, the Girona supporters gave him a standing ovation as he was replaced in the 72nd minute. He scored in the 12, 24, 46, and 62nd minutes.
Since 1947, when Oviedo player Esteban Echevarra scored four goals versus Madrid in the league, according to Spanish media. In a 2013 Champions League match, Robert Lewandowski, who now represents Barcelona, accomplished it while playing for Borussia Dortmund.
With the win, Girona's second in three games, it effectively secured its spot in the top division for the next season and moved up to ninth position. After a three-year sabbatical, the Catalan team has returned to the top division. It is governed by City Football Group, Manchester City's parent business, much as New York City.
Madrid's chances of overtaking Barcelona at the top of the rankings were severely hurt by the defeat. If Barcelona defeats Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday, it can extend its advantage to 14 points with seven games left.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti stated, “It was a challenging night; we performed at a very low level in all areas.
As a consequence, Atletico Madrid in third place may be able to close the three-point deficit between it and Madrid. On Wednesday, Mallorca will visit Atletico.
Madrid has been concentrating on its Champions League semifinal matchup with Manchester City and its Copa del Rey championship matchup with Osasuna. However, Ancelotti did start several of his usual players, such Vincius Jnior, who often engaged in provocative interactions with Girona players and spectators alike.
In the 34th minute, the Brazilian scored Madrid's opening goal with a header and then assisted Lucas Vázquez in the 85th minute.
Vincius smiled as he glanced towards the crowd after scoring his goal. “How bad you are, Vincius,” yelled the crowd at one point.
This season, racial taunts have been directed at the forward, who is Black.
Fifth-place Real Betis' home match against Real Sociedad, who are now in fourth position, ended in a scoreless tie, which was a crucial result in the race for the last Champions League slot. The outcome maintained Betis' six-point deficit over Sociedad.
Cadiz fell to mid-table Osasuna 1-0 at home, maintaining their position of 15th and being only two points above the relegation zone.