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Alvaro Benito on Atletico starlet Pablo Barrios: “Surprisingly he was let go from Madrid’s youth system”

Benito coached the player during his La Fabrica days which spanned from 2011-2017.

Real Oviedo v Atletico de Madrid - Copa Del Rey Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Pablo Barrios, 19-year-old attacking midfielder, is soon to be a household name as he breaks through into the Atletico Madrid first team. The young Spaniard has featured in Atleti’s last five games and scored in their Copa del Rey match-up vs Oviedo. Many expect him to start against Barcelona in a heavyweight match-up on Sunday. The talented midfielder appears to be making a name under Cholo Simeone and Atletico Madrid, but his story could have been very different. From 2011-2017, Barrios was part of Real Madrid’s youth system. The player even captained Real Madrid’s Infantil B side. On radio program, Cadena Ser, Alvaro Benito discussed his surprise that Real Madrid allowed the player to leave in 2017:

“Pablo Barrios showed personality in the game vs Elche. I coached him when he was in the Madrid’s youth system, and he demonstrated that same personality during that time. Surprisingly, he was allowed to leave at Infantil B stage. He is a type of player that Atletico Madrid lacks. Maybe Lemar, but the Frenchman’s career has been full of irregularities,” Benito explained.

The former Madrid player and youth coach when on to describe Barrios’ game: “He has the ability to organize, I saw him as a midfielder, but he has been advancing his position over the years. He has added that last pass and the interior game to his position, which Atletico have lacked in recent years. With Greizmann as a midfielder, and Barrios entering the scene, Atletico can find that more penetrative final ball.”

Barrios appears to be yet another former Real Madrid academy player that has joined the Atletico Madrid first team. Others have included Juanfran, Felipe Luis, Mario Hermoso, Marcos Llorente, and Alvaro Morata.

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