Takefusa Kubo: The Bizarre Reason Why Barcelona Missed Out to Real Madrid for ‘Japanese Messi’

?Real Madrid snuck in to seal the signing of highly rated Japanese forward Takefusa Kubo from FC Tokyo for free ahead of rivals Barcelona, thanks to their attention to detail.

Clásico rivals Barcelona were also keeping tabs on the player, who spent four years in their academy between 2011 and 2015, along with Paris Saint-Germain, but it was Los Blancos who ultimately ?announced the deal on Friday.

18-year-old Kubo, who is set to spend next season in Real Madrid’s B team under the tutelage of club legend Raul Gonzalez, returns to Spain after four years, when a Barcelona transfer ban for the illegal signing of youth players ultimately led him to leave La Masia to return to Japan.

Takefusa Kubo

Nicknamed (somewhat predictably) the ‘Japanese Messi’ big things are expected of Kubo, who made his senior Japan debut in 2019. Barcelona had been tipped as favourites to re-sign the wonderkid but, according to ?Marca, they were tripped up by his contract termination date. 

The report claims that Real Madrid were aware his contract ended this summer, while (possibly confused by an error on the website Transfermarkt) Barcelona and PSG were under the impression that the deal ended on 31 January 2020.

Los Blancos made Kubo an attractive offer, a five-year contract worth 1.2m a year, in order to steal the talent from under the noses of their rivals, who were still mulling their propos thinking they had more time.

When asked about joining ?Real Madrid, the 18-year-old, who is currently on international duty, said: “I am very happy to have signed for Real Madrid. 

“I’m calm. It’s a normal day, but I’m very happy.”

On Real’s ?website, Los Blancos described their new player as ‘technically gifted and hugely talented’. 

Takefusa Kubo

Real Madrid will have one of the most promising young players in world football. An attacking midfielder of excellent technique, very skilled, with vision of game, great dribble and goal [scoring],” their statement reads.

Although not one for the first team just yet, Kubo’s signing takes Real Madrid to six so far this window as Zindedine Zidane looks to rebuild his squad and reassert their dominance in both Spanish and European football. 

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Champions League 2018/19 Fastest Players: Virgil van Dijk Tops Speed List Ahead of Man City Star

Adding to his growing list of accolades, Liverpool superstar Virgil van Dijk is now officially the fastest player in Europe beating out the likes of ?Gareth Bale, ?Kylian Mbappe and Leroy Sane to clock the fastest speed in the Champions League this season.

Van Dijk – even ahead of his own Sonic-fast team-mates ?Mohamed Salah and ?Sadio Mane -recorded a top speed of 34.5km per hour during Liverpool’s semi-final first leg against Barcelona at Camp Nou, as noted in UEFA’s UCL Final Programme

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The figure was recorded (amazingly) in the 92nd minute of the tie against ?Barça, following a Liverpool corner. 

The hosts launched a quick counter-attack in search for a fourth goal, yet van Dijk sprinted from Barcelona’s box across the length of the pitch to catch up with play in the Liverpool box at the other end. With what happened at Anfield in the second leg, Van Dijk’s herculean actions may well have been the difference between Liverpool making the final or going out in a blaze of glory.

The Rolls-Royce centre-back has been a revelation for Liverpool, proving instrumental in their Champions League triumph, and their strong pursuit of ?Manchester City in the title race. His composure is often lauded, as is his commanding physical presence. Yet with the release of these results maybe we will see recognition of his wonderful pace too. 

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Van Dijk’s sprint beat out City winger Sane’s fastest by just 0.1km per hour according to the data. Below is the full list of the five fastest players in the Champions League 2018/19:

Speed Player Match
34.5km/h Virgil van Dijk Barcelona vs Liverpool
34.4km/h Leroy Sane Manchester City vs Hoffenheim
34.2km/h Nemanja Radonjic RB Salzburg vs Red Star
34.2km/h Kyle Walker Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur
33.8km/h Gareth Bale Real Madrid vs Roma

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Real Madrid Officially Announce Signing of Japanese Youngster Takefusa Kubo From FC Tokyo

?Real Madrid have officially announced the signing of Japanese youngster Takefusa Kubo, who will join up with Los Blancos’ development squad Castilla next season.

Kubo is one of the most promising young talents to emerge from Japan in recent years, having made his debut for the national team aged just 18. He spent his early years in the Barcelona academy setup, before making his way back over to Japan to join up with FC Tokyo, where he made his professional debut back in 2017.

Takefusa Kubo,Jonathan Jimenez

?Real Madrid confirmed the transfer in an official statement on their ?club website, announcing that the youngster will be a part of the Castilla squad next season, rather than a member of the first team.

Los Blancos have not disclosed a transfer fee, or revealed any details about the length of the contract Kubo has signed with the club, but a previous reports from ?Marca indicated that the youngster was in line for a five-year deal in the Spanish capital after Real agreed a €2m fee.

The official statement from the club read: “Takefusa Kubo will reinforce Castilla next season. The first Real Madrid affiliate will have one of the most promising young players in world football. 

Takefusa Kubo

“An attacking midfielder of excellent technique, very skilled, with vision of game, great dribble and goal… Kubo has already been international with the Japanese national team.”

While he is by no means a high-profile acquisition, Kubo is the latest in a string of new arrivals at the Bernabeu after the club have already secured the likes of Eden Hazard, Eder Militao, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy.

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Eden Hazard Reveals How Luka Modric Responded to His Request to Take Real Madrid’s Number 10 Shirt

?Eden Hazard has revealed that he jokingly asked for the number ten shirt off Luka Modric upon his arrival at Real Madrid – though his request was eventually denied by the Croatian midfielder.

The former Chelsea man was officially unveiled at Real Madrid on Thursday evening, where he was paraded out in front of some 50,000 supporters shortly after completing a medical at La Moraleja University Hospital.


?Hazard was provided with a blank ?Real Madrid shirt for the presentation having not yet been handed a squad number, but he has revealed that he is very unlikely to be wearing the number ten shirt – which he wore for the majority of his time with ?Chelsea – any time soon.

Speaking after his arrival at the Bernabeu, Hazard said, as per the ?Evening Standard: “I have been able to talk to ?Modric through [former Chelsea team-mate Mateo] Kovacic.


“I was joking when I asked him to lend me the number 10. He said no, so I’ll have to find another number.

“But right now, the number is not important for me, I just [want] to play with this badge.”

Hazard is just one of a number of high-profile signings made by Real already this summer, as he joins Eder Militao, Rodrygo, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy at the club.


Real don’t appear to have concluded their business in the transfer window just yet as Manchester United’s ?Paul Pogba appears to be the next player in their sights – if ?recent reports from France prove to be accurate, that is.

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Real Madrid Only Want Pogba & Rule Out Eriksen But Face Competition After Juventus Open Talks

?Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is said to be so determined to sign Manchester United star Paul Pogba this summer that he apparently doesn’t want the club to entertain any other midfield targets – including Tottenham maestro Christian Eriksen.

Pogba has been heavily linked with a switch to Real ever since fellow countryman Zidane returned to the Bernabeu in March and speculation hasn’t faded, despite continuing to be involved United marketing for next season and stories that he could be made captain.

Paul Pogba

It is French outlet L’Equipe that has published the latest on Real and Pogba, alleging that Zidane only has a ‘very specific name in mind’ for his ‘new project’.

Somewhat harshly, the story could hardly be clearer in its claims that the three-time Champions League winning coach does not want Eriksen to join Real.

The Dane, who has only one more year left on his current Tottenham contract, recently admitted that he could be ready to move on from north London in order to ‘try something new’.

However, L’Equipe insists that Eriksen is ‘not the style of player’ that Zidane wants. The newspaper also highlights an underwhelming performance in the Champions League final against Liverpool and claims that Real have received ‘negative reports’ about his personality. But the most important reason remains that Zidane only wants Pogba, and no one else.

Christian Eriksen

That would appear to also rule out rumoured interest in Lyon starlet Tanguy Ndombele.

Real may still have their work cut out trying to land Pogba, though, and L’Equipe acknowledges that it would be ‘complicated’ – even while they also report that Pogba has zero intention of remaining at United next season. That ties into gossip earlier this week that Manchester United would demand at least £150m (€168m) for Pogba, an enormous new Real transfer record.

Another reason why it is complicated is the interest of Pogba’s former club Juventus.

Sport Witness notes on the ongoing saga that ‘Pogba himself has been surprised by Madrid’s approach to talks and would now also consider a return to Juventus this summer.’

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What’s more, according to Sky Sports, Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici has already made contact with Manchester United after visiting the club’s London office this week.

It is said that the purpose of his visit was to hold ‘face to face talks’ over a possible deal for Pogba, with Juventus right-back Joao Cancelo, a rumoured target for Manchester City, part of the discussions. 

Paratici also met with Chelsea while in London to thrash out a deal for Maurizio Sarri, seemingly successfully, while he is said to have stopped in Lyon to talk about Ndombele.

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