Japanese sensation Takefusa Kubo is back at RCD Mallorca, where he shone brightly two seasons ago




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20-year-old Japanese star Takefuso Kubo is back at RCD Mallorca, on loan from Real Madrid ahead of the new season kick-off. Take has the potential and personality to be one of LaLiga Santander’s stars sooner rather than later, having already shown us glimpses of his undeniable talent for the islanders in his first spell at the club in 2019/20 – scoring four times in 36 top flight appearances at the age of just 18.  Last season, Kubo played for Getafe CF and Villarreal CF on loan, making 37 appearances and scoring twice, including the goal which clinched survival for the Azulones towards the end of the season.
 
Kubo made his LaLiga debut in early September 2019, with the then 18-year-old showing glimpses of quality right from the start. A technically excellent attacking midfielder with a creative spark and liking for hard work, Kubo is already a senior international with Japan. He is expected to play an important role as the newly promoted island side aim to establish themselves in LaLiga Santander this season after the last six years without repeating in the same category.
 
Born in Kawasaki on 4th June 2001, Kubo was no stranger to Spanish football when he signed for Real Madrid back in summer 2019, as he entered Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy aged just 10. He scored a whopping 74 goals in 30 games during his first season in Barcelona, impressing at each youth team rank until he returned to his home country in March 2015.
 
Kubo’s rapid development continued at FC Tokyo’s U-23 side, where the following November he became the youngest player to ever debut in the J1 League (15 years, 5 months and 1 day). A goal against Cerezo Osaka the following April made him the youngest ever scorer in the competition (15 years, 10 months and 11 days).
 
After a spell on loan at hometown club Yokohama F. Marinos, the 2019 J League season saw Kubo emerge as a regular goal scorer and creator for FC Tokyo’s senior side. So it came as no surprise that, after turning 18 in June, he returned to Europe and LaLiga, with his signing a big coup for Barcelona’s arch rivals Real Madrid.
 
June also saw the skillful left-footer make his senior international debut in a friendly against El Salvador, making him the second youngest player ever to earn a full cap with the Samurai Blue. He then featured in all three of Japan’s games at this summer’s Copa America in Brazil, as the invited Asian guests achieved notable draws against Uruguay and Ecuador.
 
Kubo was initially expected to spend his first season with Real Madrid’s Castilla youth team in Spain’s third tier while training with Blancos then coach Zinedine Zidane’s senior side. But his immediate impact during the senior side’s pre-season outings drew interest from several LaLiga Santander clubs and it was decided that a year at Mallorca would best help him develop and settle on and off the pitch. Kubo became then the third Japanese player in Mallorca’s history, after Yoshito Okubo and Akihiro Ienaga.
 
Now he returns to Mallorca and joins up with a very solid side led by coach Luis Garcia. Last season in LaLiga SmartBank they proved a very difficult team to beat, standing out for their defensive play. The game system most used by Garcia is 4-2-3-1, with two midfielders as the central axis with an eye on defensive solidity. It’s no coincidence that RCD Mallorca finished last season as the team with the least goals conceded. Their return to LaLiga Santander was the reward for a season of non-stop work. Now Kubo arrives to inject a spark of magic into a very solid team.
 
Kubo joins Mallorca after an amazing performance at the Tokyo Olympic Games, carrying Japan to a fourth place finish with three goals and one assist, starting each of their six games. The long-term plan still includes a return to the Bernabeu to join Real Madrid’s first team but, for now, this quietly confident character is focused on helping Mallorca on their return to LaLiga Santander. Fans at Visit Mallorca Estadi and elsewhere are keen to see more of the skills and goals which this rising star always delivers.
 
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