BEST YOUNG PLAYERS

The three most exciting young talents at Madrid, Barça & Atlético

We take a look at three players from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico's under-19 category who are being tipped to become the next big thing at their clubs

Carles Aleñá (Barcelona), Martín Calderón (Real Madrid) y Salomón Obama (Atlético).

Barcelona | Carles Aleñá (05-01-1998)

They call him “The Maradona of La Masia” owing to his physical similarity to the Argentinian legend. While Aleña is still technically in the youth category (born January 1998), he is already a member of the Barcelona reserve squad, who play in Segunda B, and has played for them 14 times this season.

Luis Enrique is following his development closely. This summer, the Barça coach brought him to the preseason camp in England and last season he picked Aleña for his Copa del Rey semifinal second-leg squad against Valencia.

Despite forming part of Barcelona’s reserve team, Aleña is also registered for the under 19s squad that plays in the UEFA Youth League, a competition which he scored six goals in eight games last year.

As a centre-midfielder, Aleña – who’s also won six caps for Spain’s under 19s – has said his idols are Deco and Xavi.

Real Madrid | Martín Calderón (01-03-1999)

This 17 year-old midfielder is the leader of Guti’s ‘Juvenil A’ (under 19s) and is already being tipped to become the successor of Casemiro and Marcos Llorente. What's more, he already made his debut for the Real Madrid first team during the Copa del Rey final defeat to Atlético last year.

This season he has shone in the Juvenil league, including the two crackers he scored against Atletico Casarrubuelos. Calderón also has experience with Castilla, having won minutes against Leganés. During the last international break, the 17-year old was called up to train with the first team for the first time under Zidane.

Calderón arrived at Real Madrid in his early teen after Los Blancos captured him from Sevilla’s academy, much to their displeasure.

Atlético | Salomón Obama (04-02-2000)

Born in Equatorial Guinea, Obama joined Atletico at the age of eight, and immediately stood out, along with his brother, thanks to his physicality in the LaLiga Promises tournaments.

As a striker, Obama has given Real Madrid’s age-category teams nightmares when Atletico have faced them. At 16, he now forms part of the under-19s and won the Juvenil Copa del Rey against Los Blancos last season.

Precociousness has marked his career so far. At just 15 he made his debut in the Youth League, scoring against Astana. In total he played three times in the prestigious youth competition last season and has competed twice in the tournament during the current campaign (versus PSV and Bayern).