Takefusa Kubo has already made a big impact at Real Madrid since his arrival

  • Rob Swan

Real Madrid have made a number of eye-catching signings already this summer.

Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo have all arrived for hefty transfer fees.

However, Madrid’s coaches have been particularly surprised by one of the club’s less high-profile summer arrivals: 18-year-old Takefusa Kubo.

Kubo was signed for Real Madrid’s ‘Castilla’ team for a reported €2 million fee from FC Tokyo.

Nicknamed the ‘Japanese Messi’ because his style of play resembles that of Barcelona’s legendary No. 10, Madrid successfully fended off competition from Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain to secure the teenager’s signature.

He also had the chance to re-join Barcelona, the club he left in 2015 after they were punished by FIFA, but rejected the Catalan giants in favour of Los Blancos.

Japan v El Salvador - International Friendly

Kubo was expected to spend the 2019/20 campaign with Castilla; however, Madrid’s original plan for the youngster looks set to change.

Spanish newspaper AS are reporting that Kubo has impressed and surprised Madrid’s coaching staff to such an extent that he could feature in the first team much earlier than expected.


Madrid’s players are also pleased with what they’ve seen from the Japan international so far in Montreal. ‘He’s not out of place,' is the message from the dressing room.

One video from training showing him linking up to good effect with Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema proves that’s the case…

He seems comfortable alongside world-class players.

Unsurprisingly, Barça are frustrated at losing out on a ‘once in a generation’ talent.

"He's Barça's biggest mistake in years,” is a quote that AS are running on their front page, alongside the headline ‘Kubomania’.


Zinedine Zidane may decide to give Kubo an opportunity to impress in Madrid’s first pre-season training against Bayern Munich on July 21.

Los Blancos also face Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and Tottenham before their La Liga opener against Celta Vigo on August 17.

And Kubo, who has already been capped four times by his country, will now be hoping to prove to Zidane that putting him with the club’s other youngsters in the Castilla set up would be a waste of his talent.

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