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So Japanese Kubo was born in Kawasaki in 2001, he began his footballing career at seven for local side FC Persimmon. He first made a name for himself locally, and after winning MVP at the Asian FC Barcelona soccer camp, the Catalan giants with little hesitation. Signed and brought the young Kubo over to their famed La Masia academy in 2011.
With Barca fans around the world keen to see what this Japanese youngster was all about, his highlight mixtape’s went viral, pulling in millions of views on online. Youtube was where the ‘Japanese messi’ comparison originally roots from, which most of his video were titled to draw clicks and hype.
On the pitch through the youth ranks, Takefusa justified the comparison. He went on to win another MVP award for the FC Barcelona school team. And scored 74 goals in 30 games for the under 11 side. It was when promoted to the under 14 levels, that his time in Catalonia came to an end. As in 2014, Barca received a two-window transfer ban, for a breach of registration rules in regards to a signed under-aged player, that marked the departure of many of their hottest foreign prospects. 10 youngsters were forced to leave the club, such as Lee Seung Woo, Ajax #1 Andre Onana and obviously Takefusa Kubo to name a few. This ban even forced 16-year-old phenom Ansu Fati, to sit out for an entire season.
While this was a major setback for Kubo, he immediately returned to Japan. Signing with FC Tokyo where he made his professional debut at 15 years old, Kubo quickly reminded everyone what the hype was all about. Becoming the youngest player to score in J-league history, and starting regularly after a short spell on loan.
While Barca had been closely monitoring him since his departure, this incredible resurgence lead to interest from other European powerhouses. Such as Man City and PSG, and while it seemed like Kubo was destined to return to Barcelona when of age, in a shocking twist of events. Kubo was announced as a Real Madrid player, just two weeks prior to his 18th birthday in June of this year.
Real signed him with the intentions to have the teen play for their Castilla side in the lower division, however, were forced to accelerate their development plan. As when featured in large amounts of playing time during pre-season tours, Kubo exceeded all expectations. Receiving worlds of praise for an impressive debut performance against Bayern Munich, and a pre-season filled with highlights, fearlessly skipping past defenders and creating opportunaties for his teammates.
When training with the first team, it was clear to everyone involved at the club, that Kubo was the advanced product for his young age.
However coming off of a disappointing year last season going trophyless, the priority at the Santiago Bernabue is getting Real back where they belong at the top of European football.
So ultimately the logical thing to with such a talented young asset would be to send him out on loan. Somewhere he can develop and re-adjust to the Spanish game, without the immense pressure that comes along with being a real Madrid player.
The ideal suitor has newly promoted la Liga side Mallorca. So far for Mallorca, Kubo has featured in 2 la Liga games. Making his debut against Valencia, and receiving the man of the match against Bilbao, despite featuring in under 30 minutes. Which all, in fact, all Kubo needed to make an impact, he danced around opposing defenders before winning his side a penalty.
On the international level, Kubo has already tallied 6 caps with Japan’s senior team. As one of the youngest players to represent the national team.
While Kubo right now is in a good situation on loan with Mallorca, the question arises as to how long before real Madrid will incorporate him into their first team. Real Madrid isn’t exactly a side known for promoting their own youth, the galacticos way after all is to buy the best player available in every position.
So why is it Kubo decided to take his talents to real Madrid, when a return to Barcelona was on the cards. Firstly, it would seem that Barca were unwilling to match his high contract demands. As Real Madrid have agreed to pay him a whopping million a season deal. But secondly, and more importantly for his career, Real Madrid seems to be leaning to sign more young players perhaps to regain a grip on Spanish football. Real, despite having won three champions league, have been underperforming in the la Liga winning just 2 domestic trophies since 2012, So maybe they’re now experimenting a new formula for success. In a day where young players are the best they’ve ever been and breaking countless records.