Forging the future: Real Madrid’s relentless recruitment and the rise of the ‘Endrick generation’ | Top Vip News


Almost two years ago I wrote an article about the resounding success of Real Madrid’s youth policy. Between 2017 and 2018, the club signed 18 players under the age of 21. These signings were sowing seeds; The club signed each with the understanding that success does not happen overnight. Patience was essential. Now, half a decade later, there is no doubt about who the best players on the team are, nor about some of the best players in the world: Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Valverde, Militao, Brahim, Camavinga. The fruits of the club’s labor have resulted in virtually no delay or “transition period” between one major team and another. This summer, the club is likely to land the crowning signing, the one that eluded them for so long: Kylian Mbappé. However, the best way to define the success of the current project is to recognize that a player like Mbappé is an asset rather than a necessity. The current team is strong enough to compete for all the titles, even without the coveted Frenchman.

The project that began in 2017 is just at its midpoint in terms of its life cycle. Vinícius and company. They have the next 5-10 years to showcase their best versions and herald the next great Madrid era. Many clubs would be satisfied with that level of recruitment, putting their feet up to relax. Even more so with the imminent arrival of a superstar of Kylian Mbappé’s level. However, Real Madrid has already begun to identify and accumulate reserves for the next generation: the “Endrick Generation”. The 17-year-old Brazilian phenom may be the face of Youth Politics 2.0, but he won’t be alone.

With the first project comes learning and understanding; refinement to the process. Madrid launches itself into talent regardless of current needs. Talent will always prevail over current suitability and the cream always rises to the top. Take Arda Guler, who was quickly capitalized on, regardless of her role in the here and now. The plan for Arda is not to put him in the spotlight now, assuming responsibilities at the biggest club in the world when he was a teenager. Instead, it is about integrating him into the club’s values, training at an elite level with the best in the world, learning from a world-class coaching staff and developing his physicality and tactical IQ. The goal is for Arda to be ready within five years.

Not all talented young players who sign for the club will accept this process. The deadlines can be accelerated or decelerated depending on the sporting objectives, but the ultimate goal is always a path towards an important role in the first team. Some routes may lead Brahim’s path, a three-year loan spell away from the club, and others may follow Vinicius’ route: being thrust into the lineup as a teenager and then spending years in and out of a starting role. The development of very few young players is perfectly linear (apart from the Mbappés, Haalands and Bellinghams of the world); A career path like Militao’s, characterized by patience and perseverance, is more common.

The success of the first project feeds the success of the next generation. Convincing Endrick and Arda Guler that Madrid is the best place for them is easier when you point out the professional trajectories of Rodrygo and Vinicius. Reports suggest that Leny Yoro, an 18-year-old French centre-back, is next on the list. Mastantuono, a 16-year-old with a gem of a left foot from River Plate’s famous youth academy, is another target. Talent within the Academy, such as defenders Jesús Fortea and Jacobo Ramón (defensive-oriented players who often have the best chance of making the jump to the first team), can also join this group.

As the club reaches the pinnacle of its current youth project, it relentlessly pursues the next one. Florentino Pérez and his management refuse to slow down. Like a high-performance athlete who trains at a different level and intensity than the average person, Madrid operates head and shoulders above most other clubs. There is no need to rest on our laurels, nor time to enjoy current success. As players like Eder Militao, Valverde, Mbappé and Tchouameni surpass 30 years of age in the next five years, Endrick, Arda, Yoro and others will enter their prime at 22 or 23 years old. Veterans like Nacho, Alaba, Carvajal and Kroos will be phased out, while the next generation is brought in to complement the initial youth policy.

Many of Europe’s elite clubs will try to imitate the success of Madrid’s strategy, thus inflating the values ​​of young players. This has already happened with clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City competing and signing young prospects. Adjustments and variations in the hiring policy will be necessary over time. The club’s first change is not that different from its current policy, the idea is to redouble its success: recruiting the best young talents in the world does not stop when the first generation reaches its peak years; Recruitment is an endless and constantly evolving cycle. This philosophy ensures that as current stars age, the next generation is prepared to take center stage, perpetuating a cycle of success.

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