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Real Madrid have exceeded the foreign player quota

In LaLiga, only three non-EU players are permitted and Madrid currently have five: Militão, Valverde, Vinicius, Rodrygo and Kubo. That presents a problem for Zidane.

Kubo y Vinicius durante un entrenamiento con el Real Madrid en Houston.

Real Madrid have found themselves immersed in an administrative nightmare as they have exceeded the allowed number of non-European Union players in LaLiga. At the moment, Zidane has five non-EU players in his squad - Militão, Valverde, Vinicius, Rodrygo and Takefusa Kubo but he will only be able to register three with LaLiga for the new season. Until now, the club has got around the foreign player quota issue by using the same strategy they used last season with Vinicius, when they managed to avoided to exceed the limit when they had Casemiro (who has since been nationalized) and Fede Valverde as their three non-EU players. The Uruguayan has been waiting to gain Spanish citizenship since April but it is a lengthy process and he is still waiting for it to be completed. Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Lunin and Serbian striker Luka Jovic, are not strictly from countries within the European Union but both are considered Community players under Article 39 of the Treaty which states that legally workers from third states should be allowed free movement and the same working conditions as those from member states.

So like last year, Vinicius will be registered with Real Madrid Castilla, as will Rodrygo, while Take Kubo will be signed up with the Under-19s. Madrid consider the Brazilian pair to be integral members of the first team squad but while there is only one vacant place for a non-EU player, only one of the three (including Kubo, who will likely play for Castilla in spite of being listed with the U19S) can be called by Zidane for league games. Article 227 of the RFEF General rules states that players under the age of 23 who are registered at youth level can play for the first team squad for an unlimited period. That doesn't resolve the problem of the non-EU quota though until Valverde gets his paperwork through.

Copa del Rey and Spanish Super cup

Under the Spanish Sports Law of 1990, Vinicius, Rodrygo and Kubo are able to play in the Copa del Rey and in the Spanish Super cup - as neither are classified as professional competitions or organised by LaLiga. In 2007, the law against violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in Sport prohibited a cap on the number of foreign players taking part in non-professional competition. The RFEF adhere to that arrangement as they confirmed ahead of last year's Super cup between Barcelona and Sevilla in Tangier.

Real Madrid's Takefusa Kubo
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Real Madrid's Takefusa KuboMICHAEL DALDERREUTERS

Foreign players in the Champions League

As for the list Real Madrid must submit to UEFA for this season's Champions League, Vinicius, Rodrygo and Kubo cannot be included in the B list because they have not spent two complete years at the club. The A list must include 25 players and Zidane is still working with a squad of 28 players - including Lunin, James, Gareth Bale and Mariano... Of those 25 places, at least eight must be occupied by players who have received their formative training in Spain and four are reserved for players who have come through the youth system at the club. The A list for the Champions League must be submitted by Monday 2 September...


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