20 Real Madrid Youngsters Who Never Stepped Up

Paul WilkesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2014

20 Real Madrid Youngsters Who Never Stepped Up

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    The emergence of Jese and Alvaro Morata appears to mean there is a greater emphasis on youth at Real Madrid than we are used to.

    This was always Florentino Perez's plan; the original Galactico model was to sign the world's best players alongside the promotion of youngsters, via Wikipedia.

    It never really worked out that way; whilst the superstars arrived for world-record transfer fees, the expectations at the club meant that managers were less patient with those who needed it the most.

    Some players went on to enjoy successful careers elsewhere, such as Roberto Soldado, Borja Valero and Juan Mata.

    This is a list of those who never really made it at Real Madrid, dropping a significant level as a player or fading away into obscurity without fulfilling their promise.

    Information supplied through Wikipedia unless otherwise stated.

20. Pedro Mosquera

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    The 25-year-old is now at Madrid's third club Getafe but has bounced back and forth between the teams in recent years.

    His sole contribution in the famous white shirt lasted only a minute, replacing Xabi Alonso as a substitute.

    Out of favour under Luis Garcia, his contract runs for a further 18 months at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

19. Diego Leon

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    This midfielder never made a first-team appearance for Real Madrid, though he did feature for eight other clubs.

    He is still to play more than 40 times for any one club, having played for Yorkshire side Barnsley the most.

    His biggest match for the Tykes was when they beat a Liverpool team containing Xabi Alonso in the FA Cup, via BBC Sport.

18. Javier Dorado

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    Dorado spent the majority of his career at Sporting Gijon where he made more than 100 appearances.

    The left-back did play twice for Los Blancos in 2000, his debut a 1-1 draw with Valencia.

    The now-retired 36-year-old also featured for Rayo Vallecano and Real Mallorca.

17. Pablo Gil

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    Sparta Prague Website

    This defender became the first Spaniard ever to play for a Czech Republic side when he spent a year with Sparta Prague.

    Gil now resides at Asturias club Caudal, who are currently in the Segunda Division B.

    He never played a first-team game for Real Madrid but was part of the Castilla team that won the division in which he now plays.

    In 2007 he was in the Spanish squad that won the European Under-19 Championship.

16. Jordi Lopez

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    This defensive midfielder actually progressed through the ranks at Barcelona.

    He never made it all the way with Barca so joined Madrid at the age of 21.

    Lopez made the squad twice before leaving for Sevilla.

    He has since gone to appear for Real Mallorca, Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City and now plies his trade with Catalonian club UE Llagostera.

15. Marcos Alonso

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    The Sunderland left-back is still only 23 years old and made his name during his three years at Bolton Wanderers.

    He is currently owned by Italian club Fiorentina and is on loan to the Black Cats.

    Manuel Pellegrini called him up for an initial Real Madrid squad in December 2009, but he had to wait another year before he got on the pitch as a 90th-minute replacement for Gonzalo Higuain.

14. Joselu

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    Michael Probst/Associated Press

    With a strike rate of 40 goals in 72 appearances for Real Madrid B, it seemed that the German-born forward was heading for the very top.

    It never quite worked out that way and Joselu moved to 1899 Hoffenheim.

    He is out on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt where he has three goals this campaign.

    At only 23, there's time for a revival yet.

13. Juan Carlos

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    The current manager of Deportivo Alaves moved to Espanyol in 1988 after failing to make the breakthrough at the Bernabeu.

    He has since returned to the club to coach the youth team and B side.

    His managerial career is following in a similar pattern with spells at Hercules, Racing Santander and Tenerife.

12. Miguel Pardeza

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    Whilst at Real Madrid, Pardeza was in the generation of youth graduates known as la Quinta del Buitre.

    Other members included Michel, Manolo Sanchis and Emilio Butragueno.

    The striker's career didn't quite pan out the same as "The Vulture," but he did score five goals in a white shirt.

    He was back with the club as director of football when Florentino Perez started his second stint as president.

     

11. Fabio Junior dos Santos

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    The Brazilian spent a year with the Real Madrid Castilla before heading back to his native country.

    At 31 years old, he is currently a free agent but has never settled for longer than two years.

    A powerful striker with a decent left foot, his most recent club was Egyptian side Al Ahly.

10. David Cobeno

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    The Rayo Vallecano shot-stopper spent his youth career at the club before a three-year spell at Real Madrid between the ages of 21 and 24.

    He left for Sevilla before returning to the capital and Vallecano where he was instrumental in their promotion to the top flight.

    Now he is the undisputed No.1 at Rayo and club captain.

9. Christopher Ohen

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    After scoring three goals at the FIFA World Youth Championship, Christopher Ohen joined Real Madrid at the age of 19.

    He did spend the next 10 years in Spain, but that was at Galician side SD Compostela.

    The Nigerian forward returned to the club where it all started, Julius Berger, in 2002 and then announced his retirement.

6. Antonio Nunez

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    In the 2003/04 season, Nunez played 11 times for Real Madrid, leading Liverpool fans to think they might have done well in the Michael Owen exchange deal after all.

    He left Liverpool after only one year there as well, but it was with a Champions League winners' medal.

    He is still playing for Deportivo La Coruna.

7. Javi Hernandez

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    The attacking midfielder moved around a number of clubs in his youth career before joining Real Madrid at 16.

    Clearly not up to the required standard, he now plays for CD Ourense.

    Hernandez's cousin is Los Blancos legend Jose Maria Guti.

6. Adrian Gonzalez Morales

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    Known simply as Adrian, the midfielder spent nine years in the youth set-up.

    He then had two years at Getafe and another two with Racing Santander before a move back to Madrid with Rayo Vallecano.

    He has been hampered in his career because Michel is his father and he was coached by him at Madrid and Getafe, drawing criticism of favouritism.

5. Pablo Sarabia

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    The Getafe midfielder left the Bernabeu three years ago after failing to make the grade in the capital.

    He was a regular for Spain in all age groups and has the talent to rise to the top again.

    He moved from a winger to a more central role and responded by scoring 12 goals in the Segunda B.

4. Julen Lopetegui

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    The current Spain U21 manager was at Madrid for three years but made only one appearance.

    He went on to play for Barcelona before finding his home at Rayo Vallecano.

    Lopetegui has a talent for coaching youngsters—he has taken Spain U19 and U21s to European Championships.

3. Pepe Mel

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    Rui Vieira/Associated Press

    West Bromwich Albion's new coach was schooled at Real Madrid.

    He never played for the first team but did have spells at Real Betis, Granada and Benidorm.

    A decent goalscorer in his day, he was unlucky to be sacked as manager of Real Betis after three years, obtaining promotion and qualifying for the Europa League.

2. Luis Aragones

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    Better known for his career at arch-rivals Atletico Madrid, Aragones recently passed away.

    He never made a start for the senior Real Madrid team and was constantly out on loan.

    He went on to become a successful manager, leading Spain to the European Championship in 2008.

1. Rafael Benitez

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    The Napoli boss played 247 times for Real Madrid Castilla but not once for the first team.

    He won't be too disheartened, having fashioned a top managerial career.

    The Champions League, FA Cup, Europa League and La Liga title are amongst his accolades earned.