Coaching debuts are never easy - even at Under-16 level, as Raúl González Blanco discovered this weekend. The legendary, former Madrid captain made his debut as a coach with Real Madrid's Under-16s in the summer edition of the Madrid Youth Cup in Moratalaz this morning, drawing 1-1 with Japanese side Gamba Osaka then losing the next game 2-1 to Alcorcón which left his team out of the competition ahead of tomorrow's semif-finals.
Madrid leave it late against Gamba Osaka
Raúl became very serious-faced when Japanese side took the lead on 20 minutes, but the Madrid coach was back shouting words of encouragement (Vamos! Come on!) to his players when when they managed to equalise against Osaka in the last minute of the game. But otherwise, he cut a calm figure - no wild gesticulating or screaming at his players - that's not his style. Nevertheless he seemed engaged and lively in these first two outings of the pre-season - both matches lasting 25 minutes per half. Right on the final whistle, Raúl went straight over to shake hands with the players on the opposing side.
Julen Guerrero's son in action
Raúl was the star atraction in La Dehesa de Moratalaz with around 50 fans scrambling to grab a selfie with him after the game. Among the spectators, was former Athletic Club midfielder and new Spain Under-16s coach Julen Guerrero who had come along to watch his son Julen Junior, one of Raúl's pupils and a promising, left-footed forward.