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The Real Madrid Castilla 2017-18 End of Season Review!

Sam Sharpe analyzes the entire Castilla squad, Solari included, and rates them on their individual season performances.

This season has consisted of an extortionate amount of boredom, with the odd moment of quality here and there. We are at the stage where Castilla have no objectives under Solari’s guidance other than to avoid relegation, which leaves us watching an aimless team. In this review I’ll be looking through the entire Castilla squad, as well as the manager, and summarising their efforts with a brief description, followed by a rating out of 10. Do consider that ratings are based on the performances of players during their own individual minutes. A player that gets a 10/10 rating after three appearances won’t have had a better season that someone who managed thirty games and earned a 7/10. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments section and on Twitter:

The Manager!

Santiago Solari

At the end of last season, it was unthinkable that I would be sat here having to do this rating again. I was certain that he wouldn’t survive the summer, and if he miraculously managed to, then it was only a matter of time before he would get the boot. He didn’t, and here I am. Did he improve? You can bet your shiniest set of marbles he didn’t. This season was just a continuation of the misplacement of players, the poor results, and the terrible decisions made all over the park. Castilla were one lucky run away from getting relegated this season, and that would have been a complete travesty. As a manager, Santiago Solari simply is not the standard required to coach at a professional club. This year he gets another generous rating. Surely, he will not be gifted another year? I wouldn’t get your hopes up.

Castilla rating: 2.5/10.

The Players!

Javier Belman

An excellent first senior season for Javier Belman. He put in some brilliant performances, and without him Castilla would have been in a lot of trouble. Amazingly, the club only deemed him to be the second-choice keeper behind the woeful Luca Zidane, but Javier managed to carve out more appearances this season due to Luca’s first team duty and an injury. Javier also recorded the most clean-sheets this season, with ten. This is the highest number reached by a Castilla keeper for a long time. He could be a Castilla player next season, but in all honesty he’s already good enough to fly the nest and progress onwards now. Javier is the most promising young goalkeeper that the club currently possesses and he has the potential to play at a very high level. Arguably Castilla’s best keeper in years.

Castilla rating: 8/10.

Luca Zidane

Where do I start? Last year, Luca Zidane was terrible, but he improved a tad towards the end of the season after he was given yet another undeserving opportunity. With Abad gone and Craninx pushed out to make way for him this season, he has yet again been blessed with opportunities. He was handed the number one shirt at Castilla, and most shockingly of all, given a first team place as the third-choice goalkeeper. It may seem like I’m hurling insults at him when I say he is the worst professional goalkeeper you will see, but I’m merely just being as honest as I can possibly be. I’ll always say what I see, and Luca Zidane is a fine case of the ‘who you know not what you know’ theory. If his dad wasn’t Zinedine Zidane, I’m not sure Luca would even be playing football as a hobby. His season was filled with the same old embarrassing mistakes and terrible performances, but this time there was no improvement towards the end of the campaign. The talented Enzo Zidane lasted 6 months away from the influence of his father before being shipped off to Switzerland. If Luca Zidane is to leave, then this time next year you can genuinely expect to see his name on the substitutes bench of Torquay United. I suspect he’d still be overachieving.

Castilla rating: 2.5/10.

Elías Ramírez

Signed in the summer from Mallorca, Elías was touted as a promising young keeper. And that is all she wrote. This guy didn’t make a single match day squad, and I didn’t see him attend a single training session. It got to the point where I was questioning if Elías Ramírez was even a real person, until I stumbled across his Instagram account and learned that he had actually suffered a season ending injury around pre-season time. He’s expected to recover in time for next season, and I hope that he’s back on the field as soon as possible. No appearances, no rating. Still better than Luca Zidane.

Castilla rating: -/10.

Álvaro Tejero

Álvaro is on his way to becoming a Castilla veteran. The previous two seasons had largely been spent playing in left back, but this season Tejero was switched to right-back. Being right footed, he adjusted to this with ease and put in another consistently good season. It has to be said that Tejero has never come close to having a bad season in a Madrid shirt. Whilst he doesn’t set the world alight with his play, he does do his defensive duties very well, and is often seen far up the pitch to help with attacks in typical Real Madrid fashion. He was present for every clean sheet that Castilla picked up this season, helping the team to shut the opposition out on 15 occasions. This season he has continued to make breakthrough’s in the first team, spending pre-season with them before completing two full Copa del Rey games. He will start next season as a 22-year-old, and if he has genuine first team aspirations then now is surely the time to rise to the challenge and seek out a better standard.

The Real Madrid clock is ticking for Tejero...

Castilla rating: 6/10.

Javier Sánchez

After getting a taste of what professional football was like last year, this season Javier was handed a starting spot as a centre-back. He really needed to step up to the plate, and he did just that. His season was filled with strong performances and he became a vital cog in Castilla’s most important machine this year: the defence. He even took penalty taking duty upon himself, and chipped in with three goals. This is another player that could quite easily go off and play at a higher standard now, but I could also see him spending one more season with Castilla.

Castilla rating: 7.5/10.

José León

Captain of the side this year. A real Castilla veteran. Jose Leon played a huge part in the group winning 15/16 team, and his injury may have been a key reason behind the infamous play-offs failures. Last season, he was loaned out to CD Leonesa, only to again suffer a horrific injury – but he returned just in time to become a Segunda División B champion. This season he returned to Castilla and was fortunate enough to put his injury woes behind him, completing a very impressive season alongside some very good defenders. He claimed the most man of the match awards out of all of his ever-impressive fellow defenders, with four. The only problem I have with his season, is that we haven’t seen nor learnt anything new about him. We already knew he was a decent player, but in reality – he’s a respected adult with a decent job moving back into his parents house for little reason. It would have made more sense for him to have re-joined Leonesa in La Liga 2. With all of that being said, in the last few days José penned a new four-year deal with Real Madrid. This is huge news and means that the club still has high hopes for him. After seeing Philipp Lienhart earn a Bundesliga move on the back of an average last season for Castilla, and up until an injury do really well, I would love to see León also secure an ambitious move this summer under Real Madrid’s guidance. Top quality defender.

La Liga bound?

Castilla rating: 7.5/10.

Manu Hernando

Promoted from Guti’s historic Juvenil A side in the summer, but not before flying out to America to spend pre-season with the first team. Hernando is a very highly rated young centre-back, and it isn’t difficult to see why. Most young defenders have a pretty quiet first season, before becoming starters in their second year. Hernando managed almost 2000 minutes this year, and picked up two goals and two man of the match awards for his troubles. He gelled with his fellow defenders expertly, and at times looked like he had been playing professional football for years. Although he made two first team squads this season, he unfortunately never made it off of the bench. All in good time. He signed a contract in December that will take him into the first team at some point. Next season he will be a full on starter for Castilla, and it will be his turn to step up to the plate.

Castilla rating: 7/10.

Álex Martín

Álex was also brought in from the under-19’s, and has had a different season compared to the rest of the defenders. He has often had to fill in at right-back due to Solari’s lack of back up there, but has had chances to shine in his favourable position of centre-half, too. And to be fair to him he was consistently decent throughout. Hopefully next season he can focus on his main position, and he’ll get a lot more opportunities to do so! He signed a new contract with the club back in January, so Madrid obviously have placed some hope in the lad.

Plenty to see yet.

Castilla rating: 6/10.

Jaime Sánchez

Injury prone Jaime followed José León back to the club after a loan deal away last season. He has barely made any appearances in years, and could only muster up five this season for Castilla. That being said, from what I saw he looked decent enough. I hope he can find some stability and playing time next season, as he is easily good enough for this level.

Castilla rating: 6/10.

Sergio Reguilón

Reguilón was yet another player retuning from a loan last year. He often played as a winger for Logroñés, scoring a decent amount of goals whilst out there (4 in 1 game against Bilbao B). This season he was deployed as a left back, and turned out to be one of Castilla’s better players. He was far more imposing further up the pitch than when I last saw him in Madrid, and defensively he was just as switched on as ever. He finished third on the assists chart, with four. Next season Sergio could end up doing anything. I personally would like to see him move onward, and more importantly upwards to a new challenge. He signed a first team contract very recently, with Florentino Pérez sitting in on the process. To impress a man like that, you have to take some risks.

Would you like to see Reguilón at Real Madrid in the future?

Castilla rating: 7.5/10.

Lusimi Quezada

Luismi had a bit of a position switch around this year, operating mainly as a left winger rather than a left back. In one sense it worked, as he surged to the top of the assists chart, and finished second in the scorers’ chart, but in another sense it didn’t work at all. Quezada is an excellent left back. So good that there was a genuine chance if he kept progressing in that position that he could earn a first team spot. As a left winger, he possesses no chance whatsoever. Whilst this positional switch seemed harmless, it has potentially killed off any chance Luismi had at a first team place. He spent pre-season with the first team as a left-back, and even made his official first team debut in that position against Fuenlabrada. At 22 years of age, it is time for Quezada to move on, and he could play higher in any of his positions. As a left back, playing in a top league should be the least of his ambitions.

Where will Quezada be playing next season?

Castilla rating: 6.5/10.

Jaume Grau

Jaume didn’t get a place in last seasons squad, but went out on loan to Navalcarnero and waited patiently for his turn. This season he cemented his place in the starting line-up playing nearly every game, and managed to form a great partnership with Jaime Seoane. His defensive position is much sought after in today’s game and without him operating there, Castilla would have dropped some vital points. He breaks up the play well, and often initiates attacks with his eye for a pass. I don’t know what will happen with Jaume next season, but I do want to see him stay with Castilla and improve upon his progress this season.

Castilla rating: 6.5/10.

Jaime Seoane

The 2017/18 player of the season. Last year Seoane played second fiddle to Aleix Febas and Fede Valverde, but still looked decent whenever he took to the field. This season, with the departure of the teams’ backbone in midfield, Seoane was given huge responsibility in the middle of the park. The team needed him to step up, the way countless midfielders have had to previously make that same jump. Step up he did, as he was instrumental in the teams two relegation scare periods. His performance in the 4-1 win over Celta Vigo B was amazing, and if Castilla didn’t win that game they would have been left in serious contention for relegation. Seoane oozes class with everything he does, and he picked up the joint most man of the match awards, with five, as well as being the teams third top scorer with five goals. Being player of the season for Castilla is a great honour, and some of the players to have held that title before Jaime have gone on to achieve amazing things. He’s ready to move on from Castilla now, after two seasons at Valdebebas. Whether he will or not is a different question, but Jaime Seoane has the potential to go very far in football.

Castilla rating: 8/10.

Álvaro Fidalgo

Last season Álvaro spent pre-season with Castilla and looked great, before being mysteriously loaned out. This season he was back, and looked to prove himself to Solari and the club. Sadly, he didn’t really get many chances to do so - but when he did, he really looked the part. He is slick on the ball, and despite playing around 10 games worth of time all season, he still finished fourth on the scorers chart, with four goals. Although he’s 21 years old now, I would still like to see him stay and finally nail down that starting spot he has been chasing for a while now.

Will Álvaro Fidalgo finally get his deserved shot next season?

Castilla rating: 7/10.

Francisco Tena

Tena was kept at the club so that he could work on recovering from a nasty injury sustained from last year, but had no actual involvement for Castilla this season. At his best he is very good, so I hope he can find his feet and reach his potential. No rating.

Castilla rating: -/10.

Óscar Rodríguez

Probably the biggest name to join Castilla last summer, arriving after captaining the under-19’s during their incredible 16/17 season. After watching his academy and youth international highlights, Óscar gave me every reason to be as enthusiastic as possible. That enthusiasm was boosted even more when he was invited to participate in Real Madrid’s pre-season tour, where he would go on to play against the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona - and even score a fantastic golazo against Manchester City. However, that enthusiasm very quickly turned into melodramatic disappointment. This season Óscar failed to step up in nearly every way. He was quiet in almost every game, provided little support for his teammates, and just put in a generally average at best season. Whilst his free-kicks are genuinely some of the best you will see in world football, his inconsistency and lack of influence stuck out like a sore thumb. He did however manage to finish joint second on both the scorers and assisters tables, bagging six and five respectively. Simply put: this season Óscar Rodríguez has been the player that the media often paint Martin Ødegaard out to be. Mind you, there was one game that did give us all a glimmer of hope. Óscar’s only man of the match award this season came against Pontevedra, where he put in an incredible performance, scoring a free-kick and getting an assist in a 3-0 win. His ability on the ball and technique was on full show that night, something that we had only seem glimpses of previously. He also managed to to score four goals in seven UEFA Youth League games for the under-19’s this season. If he could consistently perform like this week in, week out, then he would easily be looking at a first team place in the future. Next season, he definitely should be at Castilla, and that level of consistency should be his objective. If he achieves that then in next season’s review, we will be talking about a completely different player that can achieve an incomprehensible amount of success in his career.

Óscar doing what he does best.

Castilla rating: 5.5/10.

Arturo Molina

Signed in the summer from Levante, Artutro wasted no time proving why Solari chose to boot Augsto Galván out of the squad to make room for him - putting in an excellent pre-season with Castilla. He even started the season off pretty well, bagging a goal and an assist in his first two league games. It all went pretty down hill for Arturo from there. Early on in the season he suffered a nasty injury that kept him out for some time, and he never really got a look in after that. He is only on loan from Levante, and it looks unlikely that Real Madrid will look to buy him (they may still buy him and loan him out). His best bet would be to return to Levante club and attempt to impress over there, as he is a talented player.

A disappointing season for Molina...

Castilla rating: 5.5/10.

Francisco Feuillassier

Franchu was promoted from Guti’s Juvenil A team in the summer, and arrived with a very high backing after spending pre-season with the first team. It took him a while to break into the team, and even when he did he got off to a slow start. At first his play was predictable and largely ineffective. But things did slowly start to change for the Argentinian. He gradually started to improve week by week, and come the final stages of the campaign - Franchu was putting in some seriously good performances. His game against bottom of the league Cerceda was the standout, as he went on to score two incredible goals, one of them winning goal of the season, ripping apart the struggling club. By the end of the season he was consistently one of the teams best players. He finished joint top of the assists table, with six. Away from Castilla, Franchu made his Real Madrid first team debut in the Copa del Rey against Fuenlabrada, playing in both legs of the tie, whilst further making the bench in a La Liga game against Real Sociedid. Whilst this season was quite hit and miss, next season has the potential to be exceptional if he can start it how he finished this one.

Castilla rating: 6.5/10.

Adrián Mancebo

Signed in the summer from UD San Sebastián de los Reyes. The former Getafe academy player looked to be a decent Segunda División B player, and this season he’s proved to be exactly that. He started off quite brightly and there were flashes of brilliance, but he eventually lost his place to left-back Quezada, and he didn’t get much more playing time from there onward. I expect him to give Castilla another crack next season, as he has the potential to play at a higher standard if he works hard enough.

Castilla rating: 5.5/10.

Cristo González

This seasons marquee signing. The former Spanish youth international was Castilla’s best player in pre-season, but his early good work as a striker triggered Solari’s inner mastermind – and he started the majority of the first half of the season as a winger. Just like every player Solari has tried this on before, Cristo didn’t contribute much in the way of statistics, or even general play. In 2018 he rode his luck a tad as Dani Gómez and Víctor Campuzano fell out of favour with the club, and regained his starting position as a striker. From there he didn’t look back and became the first player since the unstoppable 15/16 team disbanded to hit double figures, finishing as Castilla’s top scorer with 11 goals. Six of those goals came in his last six games. He also picked up the joint most man of the match awards for the season with five, and bagged three assists on the side. It ended up being an excellent season for Cristo, who was even called up to a first team squad, sitting on the bench against Fuenlabrada. As a player Cristo is full of tricks and loves a dribble, and he creates fantastic combinations with his teammates to forge attacks. He’s only 20 years old, and if he can continue to progress and better himself next season then he could easily find himself in contention for a first team place.

Castilla rating: 7/10.

Dani Gómez

It all started so well for Dani. He spent pre-season with the first team, playing against Manchester United in the process. After three games, Dani had scored three goals and earned two man of the match awards. It looked like Gómez was certain to hit double figures this season, as well as making a potential first team debut. At his best he is probably Castilla’s best player, and he brought back fond memories of Borja Mayoral tearing up Segunda B. On the ball he loves to drive at defenders, and his finishing is of very high quality. It looked like no one was going to catch him up in the top scorers race. Then everything changed. Half way through the season it was reported that Dani turned down a contract renewal with the club, and he would go on to play just one full match for the rest of the season - not even making the squad for the final eight league games. On the surface it appeared to be out of Solari’s hands, as Dani was forced out of the team and prevented from putting a Madrid shirt on. Intriguingly Dani continued to star for the under-19’s in the UEFA Youth League, scoring seven goals in seven games for Guti’s boys. If he had continued to play all season long, Dani would have likely been the teams top scorer, and would be one of the clubs biggest prospects. As it stands, I expect him to depart the club this summer.

Will Dani Gómez become the one that got away?

Castilla rating: 6.5/10.

Víctor Campuzano

We talk about Dani Gómez as if he was being punished, but in reality Campuzano was completely shunned away this season. Last season he was Castilla’s top scorer, and it was expected that he would kick on this season and try to improve further. That looked evident as he scored two good early goals in the campaign, but then it turned into absolutely nothing. He played the equivalent to six and a half games all season. There was no talk of any foul play, but when your manager brings in youth players in your position and plays them ahead of you - you know something is up. This season has been a big disappointment for Campuzano after a good start to his Castilla career last year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him abandon ship this summer. A big shame.

Castilla rating: 5.5/10.

The Exports!

Antonio Segura

Toni was promoted from the academy in the summer after previously signing from Betis, but unfortunately fell victim to Solari’s incompetence. After stock piling on attacking midfielders, Toni really struggled for playing time, and managed just four appearances, before being forced to leave in January. It is unclear whether or not he may return in the summer.

Castilla rating: 4.5/10.

Darío Ramos

Was on the bench the most times for Castilla this season, 26, but failed to make an appearance. No rating.

Castilla rating: -/10.

Moha Ramos

Made the bench for one game, but didn’t play. Very highly rated and will be at Castilla soon enough. No rating.

Castilla rating: -/10.

César Gelabert

Despite stocking up on attacking midfielders to the point where one of them forced to play in the academy, and another was forced to leave, Solari still found the space to include César Gelabert from the academy in various match day squads. Promoting Juvenil A players from time to time is quite common, and they mostly come in and have a few nice involvements before being promoted the following year. César however came in and really impressed, picking up a man of the match award even though he only played 70 minutes all year. He also managed an assist against Fuenlabrada, finding the head of Cristo to help claim a draw. Cesar is a very highly rated prospect, but because the Spanish youth international is so young (17), it’s tough to predict whether or not he will be promoted to Castilla full time next season. He is certainly good enough.


Castilla rating: 7/10.

Pedro Ruiz

Pedro often joined César in the odd Castilla match day squad, and managed to earn three appearances, making his professional debut in the process. He looked pretty good in that time, but you get the feeling that the best is yet to come. Pedro is very likely to be promoted to Castilla full time next year.

Castilla rating: 5/10.

Martín Calderón, Gorka Zarbarte, Antonio Blanco and Diego Hernández were also called into Castilla match day squads this season, but all failed to make an appearance. No ratings.


There were no real aims for Castilla this season. They did however suffer from two relegation scares, and managed to overcome both, eventually even creeping into the top half of the table. If the objective was to survive relegation and make no improvements from last year, then this season was a resounding success. However, I don’t believe that was ever the case, and the fact that Castilla were even around the relegation zone in the first place points towards failure. Zinedine Zidane is leaving the first team, and you can expect wholesome changes all over the club, with an array of fresh faces incoming. How that will affect Castilla is currently unknown. A new first team manager could easily come in and consider Castilla to be a redundant system despite all of the success it has helped bring the club in recent times, or even do the opposite and make Castilla one of the clubs priorities. Literally anything could happen, and all us fans can do is hope for the best... Thanks for tuning in this season, I hope you found some enjoyment in the ride. Now it’s time to relax for the summer ahead of the World Cup, and get ready for whatever comes Real Madrid’s way before pre-season! Exciting times ahead.

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