New Real Madrid signing Takefusa Kubo has told reporters: “I am very proud to play for the best club in the world.”
The attack-minded player spent four years in the Blaugrana’s La Masia youth academy but had to leave the club in 2015 when Barcelona were sanctioned for signing underage players illegally.
“In Japan there is a lot of passion for Real Madrid and I am very proud to play for the best club in the world,” Kubo told Real Madrid TV, as cited by Marca.
“Players and coaches here are very friendly and I have been able to adapt very well, we have to take advantage of this opportunity, but you also have to have fun because not everyone has this opportunity.
“I'm learning a lot as a footballer and as a person, both on and off the field, I'm having a great time.”
Kubo, who has been nicknamed ‘the Japanese Messi’, then signed for FC Tokyo but he celebrated his 18th birthday earlier this month and was subsequently available to return to European football - with Madrid pouncing.
The Japan Under-20 international was said to have caught the attention of sporting directors of ‘Europe’s biggest clubs’, including Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
Kubo netted six goals across 30 appearances for former club FC Tokyo.