Alvaro Rodriguez has emerged as the next top talent in La Liga in recent weeks. The Uruguayan returned to Real Madrid earlier this month on the back of a successful U20 Sudamericano campaign, in which he scored five times for his national team.
He was expected to continue playing for the youth sides upon his return from Colombia, but an injury to Karim Benzema meant that Rodriguez, nicknamed El Toro, was called up to the first team for the trip to Osasuna last weekend.
The 18-year-old had an excellent debut, despite playing less than ten minutes. He set up Marco Asensio for an assist on his first appearance in the first team, and that led to his inclusion again for the Madrid derby on Saturday, in which he scored his first goal for Los Blancos.
However, his story could have been so different, with Sport reporting that Barcelona had the chance to sign Rodriguez in 2020 before Real Madrid snapped him up from Girona.
Barcelona scouts waxed lyrical about Rodriguez, but youth officials decided against making a move, and he was snapped up later that summer by Real Madrid, who are set to keep him around the first team squad for the time being.