On June 14, 2019, Real Madrid added another up-coming talent to their club with the signing of Japanese international, Takefusa Kobo.
The former FC Tokyo player has made the switch from Japan’s J1 League to Spain’s La Liga and is propped to be one of the most exciting young players to watch this season.
The move of course is a huge one, especially since he is only 18-years old. Much like other Real Madrid players such as Vinicius Jr., Rodrygo Goes and Martin Odegaard, a move away from home so young is a big deal for a player’s career.
Yet the story about this new player is a bit different compared to the other teenage debutants because Kubo has already lived and played in Spain for another club. Coincidently, it was for Real Madrid’s biggest rivals, FC Barcelona.
Back in 2011, Kubo was playing for Kawasaki Frontal and moved to La Masia on a free-transfer. During his time with the Catalonian club he stunned the football world with his dribbling and finishing abilities at such a young age. His talents even earned him the nickname the ‘Japanese Messi.’
However, in 2015 Barcelona came under the microscope of FIFA after breaking regulations while signing players to their youth team and a major change in roster was forced to happen.
As a result, Kubo headed back to Japan where he began a new start with the FC Tokyo Youth team where he made 30 appearances for the first team and added six goals and four assists to his name.
After catching the eye of many scouts as a child-prodigy and now having another four seasons of experience under his belt, (plus international experience during the 2019 Copa America) Kubo has been closely followed by many major clubs.
According to The Guardian, the attacking midfielder was being watched by his former club Barcelona, Paris St. Germain, and of course, Real Madrid.
It was assumed that he would go back to the Camp Nou to when coming back to Spain however Barcelona would not match Real Madrid’s €2 million offer with a six-year contract earning €1 million per season.
At the moment, Kubo is set to be a crucial asset towards strengthening the Castilla team and his qualities and skills on the ball will help generate a different game flow on the pitch.
However, (again like the careers of Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Odegaard), he may also have the opportunity to make a few appearances in the senior squad if needed.
The youngster has recently travelled with the first team to Montreal, Canada for pre-season preparation and the opportunity to train alongside quality players has made a really good impression.
“I’m learning a great deal as a player and person, both on and off the pitch. I’m having a great time,“ said Kubo for Realmadrid TV.
“My teammates and the coaches are very pleasant and I’ve been able to adapt really well. I’ve got to make the most of this opportunity.”
So even though the completion of the deal was quiet and sort of went under the radar, the world will quickly know the name Takefusa Kubo within these next few seasons.
Putting on what used to be his rival’s what sujersey will for sure be an interesting experience for Kubo but he backs his decision to come to Madrid with no sweeter words:
“I’m really proud to be at the best club in the world.”
Kubo and Real Madrid will take on Bayern Munich during the International Champions Cup on July 20th, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. EST in NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas.