Kubo: Real Madrid starlet's Real Mallorca story so far
Takefusa Kubo's arrival on loan at Real Mallorca from Real Madrid unleashed a state of 'Kubomania' that is only now beginning to calm down...
As the days have passed since Takefusa Kubo's loan arrival at Real Mallorca from Real Madrid, the state of 'Kubomania' has begun to calm down a little on the island. His burgeoning star status back home in Japan, allied with the identity of his parent club and his promising pre-season performances for Madrid, was the kind of explosive combination that created an atmosphere of fever pitch around the move.
Mallorca coach not so thrilled about 'Kubomania'
One man who was not particularly happy that the spotlight was on the 18-year-old was Mallorca's head coach, Vicente Moreno, who has consistently warned against putting "so much responsibility on the shoulders of such a young lad".
Kubo's switch to Mallorca sparked the same huge interest in Japan as that of compatriot Yoshito Okubo back in 2005 - albeit there is one key difference between the two: having spent four years in Barcelona's youth set-up, 'Take' has already mastered the lingo. Off the field, little time was wasted in seeking to exploit the draw of Kubo. Japanese pay-TV channel Wowow has provided special coverage of the player since he joined, while club officials travelled to Japan at the start of September to establish new marketing links with the Asian country.
All the while keeping his focus on his football, however, Kubo is living a quiet life in Palma, Mallorca's capital, under the wing of his mother, who has been by his side since his arrival on the island. With the teenager yet to get his driving licence - he is currently in the process of learning - she it is who takes her son to Mallorca's training ground, the Ciudad Deportiva Antonio Asensio, every day.
Kubo yet to fully establish himself in Mallorca line-up
Kubo is reserved, polite and, when he speaks to the press, noticeably unfazed by the attention he receives; he knows he is tasked with making a key impact for Mallorca this season, even if he also knows he still has work to do to fully establish himself in the side; so far, the midfielder has been in and out of Los Bermellones' XI. Having gone away on Japan duty in both September and October, his efforts have twice been interrupted by international commitments.
After featuring in both Japan's fixtures in the campaign's first international break, moreover, this month's call-up saw him fly over 20,000 kilometres to play just five minutes: unused in last Thursday's 6-0 hammering of Mongolia, he then had to settle for a late cameo appearance in Tuesday's 3-0 win over Tajikistan.
Kubo likely to start on bench against Real Madrid
Having covered so many air miles - and trained just twice with the Mallorca squad this week - Kubo seems likely to have to wait for his chance off the bench against owners Madrid this weekend, as he looks to add to his one assist thus far this term, and open his scoring account in the red shirt.