VALENCIA-REAL MADRID

Valencia's Ferran Torres on Real Madrid's agenda

The 19-year-old remains on Real Madrid's agenda while Valencia are trying to renew his current deal.

Valencia's Ferran Torres on Real Madrid's agenda
David Gonzalez

The name of Ferran Torres has long been on the Real Madrid agenda despite the fact that he is only 19 years old.

He was an ‘alevín’ (under-12) when they first tried to sign him. Then, while he was a ‘cadete’ (under-16) they again came knocking at his door – quite literally – and invited him to visit the Real Madrid training facilities. The last Madrid attempt came when he was at ‘juvenil’ level, specifically during the U17 World Cup in India.

It was after that Valencia reacted, promoting him to the first team and raising his buyout clause from €8 million to €25 million and then, four months later, to €100 million. Now they are trying to renew his deal again as it currently ends in 2021.

Torres, with four goals and two assists in the last seven games, was chosen as the best player of U19 European Championships and has already accumulated 72 games for Valencia’s first team, quite a significant figure for a 19-year-old. Never in the club’s 100-year history has someone so young played so many times.

Torres is today one of the references at a club that – as coach Albert Celades pointed out last week – has been historically amongst the elite when it has depended on a large number of home-grown players. Currently it is the likes of Jaume Domenech, José Luis Gayà, Carlos Soler and Torres, in addition to the Korean Kang-in Lee, that provide the quality and a sense of identity. 

Ferran Torres in action against Ajax.

Madrid and Valencia among Europe best training clubs

At the Mestalla on Sunday night, two of the clubs with the best training academies in Europe face off. A report compiled by the CIES Football Observatory in October ranked Real Madrid as the best training club, with Valencia in fifth.

The ranking is based on the number of academy players trained at the club that are currently playing in one of the big-five leagues. Madrid came out on top with 39, which includes three current Valencia players Parejo, Rodrigo and Sobrino. Behind Madrid are Barcelona (34), Lyon (30) and Manchester United (28).

After that in fifth place comes Valencia with 24 academy players currently plying their trade in in the top leagues, including Real Madrid’s Isco, Manchester City’s David Silva, Paco Alcácer of Bayern Munich, and Barcelona full back Jordi Alba.