Football News

Real Madrid beat Barcelona to signing of the Japan rising star Takefusa Kubo

By CJ Smith

Published: 12:09, 14 June 2019

Real Madrid have completed the signing of Japanese starlet Takefusa Kubo, dubbed the ‘Japanese Messi’.

At just 18 years old, Kubo recently made his senior Japan debut in a friendly against El Salvador and has chosen Los Blancos over a move to PSG and fierce rivals Barcelona, with whom he spent time in their youth system between 2011 and 2015.

Five key things to know about Real Madrid’s summer transfer business so far…

  1. Real Madrid have spent almost £300m on overhauling Zinedine Zidane’s squad so far this summer.
  2. In March a £42.7m deal was struck with Porto for centre-back Eder Militao.
  3. Serbian striker Luka Jovic then arrived from Frankfurt for a reported £53m.
  4. It is claimed Hazard’s fee could rise to as much as £150m including add-ons.
  5. Madrid also signed left-back Ferland Mendy from Lyon for around £47.1m this week.

Real announced the signing on their official website and confirmed Kubo will play in their Castilla B team next season.

Their statement translated: “Takefusa Kubo (06/04/2001, Kanagawa, Japan) play for Castilla next season. The new Real Madrid signing is one of the most promising young players in world football.

“[Kubo is] an attacking midfielder of excellent technique, very skilled, with vision of game, great dribbling and an eye for goal.

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“Having just turned 18, Kubo has already been international with the Japanese national team (he debuted on June 9 of this year against El Salvador).

“The Asian player joins the club from FC Tokyo in the Japanese First Division where, so far in 2019, he has played 13 league games scoring four goals and three League Cup games, scoring once.”

“I always want to aim at the top” – Kubo’s Madrid ambition

Being dubbed the ‘Japanese Messi’ is sure to come with a certain amount of pressure but Kubo, who can play as a No.10 or across the forward line, doesn’t seem fazed by the comparison.

In fact, in a recent interview with Goal ahead of his Bernabeu move, the 18-year-old spoke of his ambition to ‘climb the ladder’ right to the pinnacle of football, sparing no effort in improving his craft.

“When it comes to football, I always want to aim at the top,” he said. “I am most looking forward to what I will do in the future myself, and intend to spare no effort for that.

“I look forward to seeing my potential, and try to climb up the ladder one step at the time, one by one.”

And while it will be interesting to watch his development in Madrid, Kubo wasn’t scared to admit his favourite side to watch last season was the one to take over Real’s title as kings of Europe: Liverpool.

“The team I think play the most interesting football is Liverpool,” he added. “I feel they are awesome when I watch their games. It’s not really to say they are my ‘favourite’, but more like ‘awesome’.

“I like fast and skilful players. All the big teams have these types of players, and when I watch them I feel they are awesome.”