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Who is Real Madrid’s new signing Takefusa Kubo? ‘The Japanese Messi’

He was once labelled the Japanese Messi and one of the hottest prospects in the fabled La Masia academy. Now, he’s joined the Blaugrana’s rivals in Europe’s most exciting rebuild project.

Real Madrid have signed 18 year old Takefusa Kubo to make him their 6th signing of the summer transfer window. Kubo left Barcelona’s La Masia in 2015, but is now part of a Los Blancos side in transition under Zinedine Zidane.

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The former FC Tokyo forward will join Real Madrid Castilla and based on the fact he was in La Masia in the first place and didn’t leave because he wasn’t good enough, could be a shrewd acquisition by Madrid.


Kubo played for local club Kawasaki Frontale to begin his youth career, but his talent was quickly spotted by the Catalan club’s widespread and effective scouting network. He joined La Masia in 2011, spending the next 5 years in Catalonia and developing in one of world football’s greatest academies.

The Japanese international thrived for the the youth sides with an astonishing 74 goals in 30 games for the Under 11s and becoming MVP in the Under 12s Mediterranean Cup to accelerate up the ranks.

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Yet his time at Barcelona came to an end in 2014/15 due to their breach of international transfer policy for Under 18 youths, meaning that a young and talented Kubo was forced to Spain and return to Japan.

Since then, the forward completed his youth development, joining the senior team at just 15 years of age and subsequently becoming the youngest player to score in the J-League. Despite the early setback, Kubo has continued to impress for his age and has been rewarded with a move to the Bernabeu.

Style of Play

The Japanese Messi lives up to his name in terms of style, physical stature and attributes. Pace, skillful dribbling and intelligent movement.

Based on the video, Kubo looks to be an exciting prospect. His ability to drop the shoulder with ease, dribble past defenders like they’re not even there and subsequently take an effective short or make a pass in sublime. He can even take a free kick, genuinely a carbon copy of young Messi.

One criticism is perhaps his physicality. Though Lionel Messi isn’t physically strong himself at 5ft 7, Kubo is only 18 years of age and would struggle in senior team, not due to a lack of technical ability or talent, but because of the physicality of the league.

Regardless, he’s young and has time to develop. This could genuinely be one of the best signings for Castilla Real Madrid have made in years gone by. Takefusa Kubo looks like a serious talent. The Japanese Messi could be a future star for Los Blancos. Perhaps I’m getting carried away by the video, but he really does look great at 18 years of age.

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