Barcelona midfielder hails new Real Madrid signing

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Takefusa Kubo

Arturo Vidal has praised Japanese teenager Takefusa Kubo ahead of Chile’s Copa America opener against Japan.

Kubo recently signed for Real Madrid, with the Spanish giants describing him as “one of the most promising youngsters in world football”.

Chile, winners of the last two editions of the Copa America, will face Ecuador, Japan and Uruguay in Group C.

On Kubo, Vidal said: “He’s a very skilled player. There’s a reason why Real Madrid hired him. And we know him.”


Watch the clip above to see what else Vidal had to say about the ‘Japanese Messi’









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Real Madrid's new signing is honoured to be nicknamed the 'Japanese Messi'

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Takefusa Kubo

New teenage Real Madrid signing Takefusa Kubo said it was an “honour” to be nicknamed the “Japanese Messi” when speaking to reporters at the Copa America on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Spanish giants Real announced the 18-year-old was joining the record 13-time European champions from FC Tokyo, to play for their B team next season.

“Being called the Japanese Messi is an honour and makes me proud, but I’m still not at his level and I prefer to concentrate on my abilities and strengths,” said Kubo from Japan’s Copa America base in Sao Paulo.

Like Messi, Kubo joined the Barcelona academy as a child – when just 10 – but left in 2015 after the Catalans were punished by world football’s governing body FIFA for breaking rules on signing under-age players.

His dribbling skills – which drew comparisons to Messi – made him a YouTube sensation as a child.

But while flattered by comparisons, he still wants to be appreciated for his own attributes.

“There are several players like me, but I’m me, not some other player,” he added, speaking Spanish.

Kubo wasn’t allowed to speak about his transfer so as not to let the issue deflect from Japan’s Copa preparations.

He has signed a six-year contract worth €2 million a year, according to Spanish and Japanese media.

Earlier this year, Kubo became the youngest ever goalscorer in the J-League, boosting his profile back home almost to the level of icons Hidetoshi Nakata and Keisuke Honda.

Kubo has a wise head on his young shoulders and is keeping his feet on the ground in Brazil.

“The most important thing is to absorb as much as possible” at the Copa America, he said.

“All I must do is express what I know how to do in the game, nothing more.”

He’s the youngest player in Japan’s youthful squad whose average age is just 22.

In fact, only six of the players had even earned a cap when the final 23-man competition squad was announced by coach Hajime Moriyasu last month.

“I’ve played with most of them before, I want to play with a spirit that will make them proud,” said Kubo, who only made his debut for Japan on June 9 in a 2-0 win over El Salvador in a friendly in Miyagi.

Japan make their Group C bow on Monday in Sao Paulo against champions Chile, who have “a strong mentality of never giving up,” said Kubo.

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Eden Hazard insists Real Madrid move hasn't come too late in his career

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Eden Hazard argued on Thursday that his arrival at Real Madrid hasn’t come too late in his career.

The 28-year-old has signed a five year contract at the Spanish club after his €150 million move from Chelsea.

Hazard believes that he’s at his peak and the Bernabeu will witness his best years.

“No, I don’t think it’s too late. I am 28 years old. I think I am at the best moment in my career,” the Belgian said at his first press conference as a Madrid player.


“Between 27-33 is the best moment for a footballer. My dream to play for Real Madrid has been there for a long time but I had several stages in my career.








“First with Lille and then Chelsea and now I thought it was time to change in my career and to come to the best club in the world and that’s why I am here.”


Much is expected of the playmaker and he was even asked if he thinks he could become the best player in the world at the Spanish capital.


” I will try. I will try. But before that I will try to be (in) the best team in the world, not just the player.


“It is a different level. I had a lot of success with Chelsea and I want to win a lot as well with Madrid so just to be here is a new challenge but I’m ready for that.”



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