César Gelabert is the brightest talent currently playing in Real Madrid’s youth ranks and last Sunday made his eagerly awaited debut for Castilla at the age of 17.
Within the club Gelabert is viewed as the most exciting prospect to emerge from La Fábrica for some time and last season, when in the Juvenil B side, he played a few games for Guti’s highly regarded under-19s.
An attacking midfielder who can also play on the left wing or as a secondary striker, Gelabert is a player who likes to take defenders on and who has a good range of passing and game awareness. His progress has also not gone unnoticed at international level and Gelabert was a key member of the Spain under-17 squad who were runners-up at the World Cup in that age category in India last summer.
"Zidane and his staff come to watch us train"
In a recent interview with AS, the 17-year-old explained how the arrival of Zinedine Zidane has given youth players at Madrid extra belief in their possibility of lining up for the senior side: “You train and play with a lot of excitement because you know one day you could play for the first team. It’s a big incentive. Before Zidane, other coaches didn’t have much faith in youth team players, but since he came with his staff they have taken a lot more notice of, they come to our training sessions to watch us.”
Such is Gelabert’s standing in the club that it is widely expected he will make his first team debut before too long, joining the senior squad for pre-season ahead of the 2018-19 campaign. It will be quite the rise for a player who was spotted at Hércules and signed by Real Madrid in 2015.