If Real Madrid's plans come to fruition, it will be the first time in 26 years that they will not have a goalkeeper from La Fábrica, their youth academy, in their first team squad. With the arrival of Andriy Lunin, who was presented at the club on Monday, as the third choice keeper, Keylor Navas rooted in the side and reported interest in Thibaut Courtois, it could mean Real Madrid are ready to break with a long tradition.
To find the last time Real Madrid did not have an academy shot-stopper in their team, you would have to go all the way back to 1991-92 when Paco Buyo and Pedro Luis Jaro, who were both brought up outside of Real Madrid's youth setup were the only keepers in the side.
Since then, after Juanmi arrived as the third choice keeper with Benito Floro ready to step in during the 92-93 campaign, the run has lasted until last season in which Navas was the main man with Kiko Casilla and Luca Zidane as his back-ups. Both players might have to find new homes, however, if Courtois arrives.
In the last few years, the tendency to have a host of keepers in the squad was more pronounced. During the Casillas and Mourinho debacle, which wasn't helped by the hand injury to Casillas, the team had four goalkeepers. All of them passed through the youth academy. Antonio Adán and Jesús Fernández were back-ups to Casillas and the January arrival of Diego López meant four keepers who knew the inner workings at Valdebebas were on hand.
|Season||First Goalkeeper||Second Goalkeeper||Third Goalkeeper|
|2013-14||Casillas||Diego Lopez||Jesus Fernandez|
In black, players that came through.
*Jesus Fernandez was also in the squad.
The signing of Lunin also closes the possibility of a youth team player stepping into the breach of third choice goalkeeper. That is something Real Madrid had habitually done for years with players like Codina, Adán, Jesús, Pacheco, Yáñez and Luca Zidane all benefitting from this approach.
A possible reason for the change could be losing Luis Llopis, the goalkeeping coach for the last three years along with somewhat of a crisis in the underage system without a dominant keeper to speak of. In the last under-19 and under 17 tournaments for Spain, Real Madrid have not had a goalkeeper.
The last international was the Tenerife-born Moha Ramos, who was the third choice keeper at times during Luca Zidane's injury last season and will play for Castilla this season. His last game with Spain, at under-17 level, was in 2017.