Real Madrid find a solution to non-EU quota conundrum
Vinicius is close to gaining Spanish nationality; Rodrygo and Militao, who have been based in Spain for two years, have started the process. Kubo and Reinier, are next in line.
The transfer policy which Real Madrid have followed over the past few seasons has generated problems when it comes to fitting in players who do not have EU citizenship. The arrival of players like Vinicius, Rodrygo, Militão, Kubo and Reinier in the space of three years took the club past the quota meaning they couldn't register all of them. It also affected future signings, as the technical department had to rule out bringing in more non-EU players as there is no room for them. However, a solution may be just around the corner, or at least that is what is hoped in the back offices at the Bernabéu.
Requisites to be eligible for a Spanish passport
According to Spanish law, any individual born in another country who is seeking a Spanish passport must have lived in Spain for a minimum of 10 years uninterrupted. However that does not apply to those born in any of the Latin American countries, Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines and Portugal, who can apply for a Spanish passport if they have spent two years living and working in Spain. Three Real Madrid players have already been through the process and have their passport - Casemiro, Marcelo and Fede Valverde (the latter received his in 2019).
Of those who are still waiting to have their application processed, Vinicius will be the first to gain dual nationality. His case has dragged on longer than expected due to the disruption and delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. He started the process in July 2020, hoping that it would take about a year for all the paperwork to be admitted and approved. But bureaucracy is slowing things down. Both the club and the player have been patient and hope that the matter will be resolved as soon as possible, but they cannot understand why the administrative part is taking so long when they have complied with all of the requisites in order for Vinicius to get his passport. They are confident that it will be sorted out by the end of this season.
Rodrygo and Militao apply for dual citizenship
Next in the queue are Rodrygo and Militão. Both arrived in Spain in July 2019, so they could start the ball rolling with their applications over the summer. Both of them have submitted the first documents required to begin the process and are waiting for a response from authorities. Diario AS understands that both players should have their new Spanish passports for the start of next season if everything goes according to plan. If not, the club is also considering that their situations will be resolved by the end of 2022 at the latest.
Two other Madrid players are waiting for a non-EU slot to become free - Take Kubo and Reinier. The Japanese player is out on loan at Mallorca and Reiner is on loan at Borussia Dortmund. Both hope to have their first proper opportunity with the first team in July next year. With Kubo, the plan was to start the procedure this summer, but due to the unexpected delays to Vinicius' passport, it was put on hold and the club looked instead to loan him out. Reinier's case is slightly more complicated since there is a possibility that there might not be a place available for him if Rodrygo and Militão's passports are delayed. He hasn't been given much playing time during his loan at Dortmund and that reduces his chances of securing a place in the first team squad next season.
Once some or all of those who have applied for dual citizenship receive their passports, the South American market will reopen for Real Madrid. The club has done well in finding talent in Brazil in the past few years. Head of International Football Juni Calafat is constantly on the lookout for emerging stars of the future, and Madrid won't want to miss out if he discovers the next Vinicius during one of his scouting missions.