Former Barcelona prospect Takefusa Kubo has said the Camp Nou boos directed at him did not hurt, adding he deserved the jeers from fans after signing for rivals Real Madrid.
Kubo is on loan at Mallorca and made his first trip to the Camp Nou in the 5-2 loss on Saturday. He was booed relentlessly every time he touched the ball, but after the match, said the fans had every right to do so, per Goal's Robin Bairner:
"That’s the decision of the fans. I made my call and they have the right to whistle me. I think I deserve it, although there were people who also applauded me, which gave me courage.
"Does it hurt? No, they have to see me as a rival, not as an 18-year-old boy who plays football pretty well."
The Japanese starlet and his team-mates had no chance in the 5-2 loss, which saw Lionel Messi present his Ballon d'Or award to the fans before bagging a hat-trick:
The 18-year-old played well in the loss, even nutmegging Messi himself at one point. He consistently showed why he's so highly rated, holding his own against the very best La Liga has to offer.
FootballTalentScout wondered what could have been:
Kubo was one of the most exciting talents at Barcelona's famed La Masia academy before he was forced to return to Japan, as the Catalans were found to have breached international transfer regulations in signing him.
He was expected to return to the club after turning 18, but shocked everyone by opting to sign with hated rivals Real. The youngster excelled during the pre-season tour, and joined Mallorca on loan in August.
He's slowly starting to find his feet in Spanish football, and if he keeps developing at the same rapid pace, could play a major role for Los Blancos in the future.
He's not the only loanee impressing in La Liga, with Martin Odegaard putting together a sensational campaign at Real Sociedad. Rodrygo is enjoying a breakout campaign of his own in the capital, so the future looks bright for Los Blancos.