10 Real Madrid Youngsters Who Never Made the Grade

Paul WilkesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2014

10 Real Madrid Youngsters Who Never Made the Grade

0 of 10

    Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

    When your president's philosophy is to scour the earth in search of the very best, then it's difficult for any youngster to compete.

    In recent times there has been a shift toward using some of the potential that has been nurtured with Alvaro Morata, Jese and Nacho experiencing game time.

    Here are some of the best players not to make an impact at Real Madrid, but who've enjoyed success elsewhere.

    All statistics and facts were gathered from the players' individual Wikipedia pages.

Javi Garcia, Manchester City, Defensive Midfielder

1 of 10

    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    The 26-year-old spent his entire youth career at Madrid but managed just three appearances for the first team.

    He was sold to Osasuna and then purchased back by Los Blancos 12 months later.

    Having shown his ability at Benfica, he now occupies a place in the Manchester City squad, though his use as a centre-back has compromised his standing a little.

Esteban Granero, Real Sociedad, Midfielder

2 of 10

    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Esteban Granero did go on to make 67 appearances for Madrid in three years, but that was after he spent time at their smaller local rivals, Getafe.

    The midfielder is currently owned by Queens Park Rangers, who were relegated last season in his only year in the Premiership.

    Sent out on loan to Real Sociedad for 2013/14, he unfortunately suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his right knee, ruling him out for six months.

Luis Garcia, Real Zaragoza, Striker/Winger

3 of 10

    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    The forward never made a league start for Real Madrid, but he did make an appearance in the Copa del Rey.

    He went on to become a legend of Espanyol, helping the side win the aforementioned competition and the UEFA Cup in 2007.

    Owned by Real Zaragoza now, he is out on loan at Mexico team Tigres UANL, where he is still scoring goals.

Rodrigo, Benfica, Striker

4 of 10

    Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

    The youngster is beginning to make a name for himself through his goal-scoring exploits in Portugal.

    He never played for the first team at the Bernabeu and signed a five-year contract with Benfica.

    The Brazilian-born forward did spend a season at Bolton Wanderers, but it was back at the "Eagles" when he found the net regularly, including the opener in the Portuguese League Cup final.

Roberto Soldado, Tottenham Hotspur, Striker

5 of 10

    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    The poacher has failed to make a huge impact in London, but there's still time for him to settle in and show his best.

    He made 27 official appearances for Real Madrid before joining Getafe and scoring the goals that made him such hot property.

    His best form was at his hometown club, Valencia, where he replaced David Villa before becoming the club-record transfer at White Hart Lane.

Mista, Former Valencia, Striker

6 of 10

    Christopher Lee/Getty Images

    Miguel Angel Ferrer Martinez, better known as Mista, spent three years in the youth teams at Real Madrid.

    There he was coached by Rafa Benitez, who subsequently took him to Tenerife and Valencia.

    At Los Che he won two league titles and the UEFA cup before leaving to play for Atletico Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna.

Borja Valero, Fiorentina, Midfielder

7 of 10

    Fabrizio Giovannozzi/Associated Press

    The former West Bromwich Albion playmaker was at Madrid for his complete youth career.

    At the Hawthorns he lasted just one season due to the sides relegation, though he was loaned out in consecutive years to Real Mallorca and Villarreal.

    He was an integral cog in Manuel Pellegrini's yellow submarine team and has been taking Serie A by storm for two campaigns with Fiorentina.

Alvaro Negredo, Manchester City, Striker

8 of 10

    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Alvaro Negredo didn't exactly progress through the Madrid ranks as he joined at the age of 20 from local team Rayo Vallecano, but he did play for two years at the Real Madrid B side.

    His impressive record at Almeria saw Madrid buy him back but then sell him in six weeks to Sevilla.

    The forward is enjoying life at the Etihad and has adapted to the English Premier League with ease, scoring 23 goals in all competitions.

Santiago Canizares, Former Valencia, Goalkeeper

9 of 10

    KIRSY WIGGLESWORTH/Associated Press

    Two years at Celta Vigo along with loan spells at Elche and Merida were required before Canizares could get a first-team game at Los Blancos.

    He was back-up for the majority of his time in Madrid, so he made the move to Valencia.

    There he won two La Liga titles and represented his country on 46 occasions, including World Cups and European Championships.

Juan Mata, Manchester United, Attacking Midfielder

10 of 10

    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    David Moyes' latest signing at Manchester United moved to Real Madrid at the age of 15 from Real Oviedo.

    It was at Valencia where he made his name, as he then transferred to the Premiership to play for Chelsea.

    The £37 million move to United happened after he was frozen out by Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.

    Mata has won the World Cup, European Championships, European Cup and the Europa League, whilst he is still only 25.