Who is Real Madrid's Peter? AS talks to the coach who discovered him
Teenage winger Peter Federico has been handed his first call-up to the Real Madrid squad as Carlo Ancelotti's men host Cádiz in LaLiga.
Nineteen-year-old winger Peter Federico, who has been one of the star figures in Raúl González Blanco’s Real Madrid ‘B’ team, has been included in the senior squad for the first time, as Carlo Ancelotti’s covid-hit side take on Cádiz in LaLiga on Sunday.
Youth coach Xavi García Ferré, who discovered Peter eight years ago and has been a huge influence on his development, sat down with AS to look back on the player's move to Madrid as a 13-year-old - and offer the lowdown on what the Bernabéu can expect from the young Spaniard.
When did Peter catch your eye?
In 2013/14, when he was an under-12s player […]. Right from the first moment, you could see he was a player who made the difference; he played with a degree of flair that would have been more characteristic of a Brazilian. He had no hesitation in taking players on and was a different kettle of fish to any other lad I’d seen previously. I knew right away that he’d make it as a professional; I never had any doubts about that.
How did you sign him for your team?
The local club he’d been playing for, Getafe Olímpico, was absorbed into ours, Ciudad de Getafe, so I drafted him in for a few tournaments, concluding with the season-ending Supercup Madrid - which we won. After that, I set about firming up my squad for the following campaign and I had a chat with Peter to convince him that our project was the right fit for him. He was very hesitant; it was hard to get a word out of him and he really just wanted to enjoy playing football with his pals. But I persuaded him that joining us would be a big step forwards for him and that we’d make sure he had everything he needed.
How did Real Madrid's interest come about?
Real Madrid’s interest came from Óscar Carazo, who was a director at the club. He made his interest known to our club. Julio César Gómez, who was a director at Ciudad de Getafe, then told me about the interest, and between September and December, Madrid scout Rubén Ángulo began watching him in all our games and tournaments. I didn’t tell Peter or his family about any of this. I thought it was best not to unsettle him.
In December, the moment arrived when Real Madrid said they wanted him to join their under-14s right away. I told his father, who said to me: “The lad’s going to want you to keep playing for you; you’re like a father to him. But whatever you think is best, we’ll do that.” I obviously advised them that Real Madrid was the best choice for Peter and that it was the right time to make the move.
Do you think he'll go on to make history at Real Madrid?
I certainly hope so. I have so much affection for the lad that I’d be delighted if he did. From the word go, Real Madrid expect you to be the best - and he’s up to those standards, I’ve no doubts about that. He’s a player who produces magic; he’s got the kind of talent for taking players on that sets him apart as a winger.
You don’t see wingers like him anymore; in European football we’ve taken that creativity out of them - but he has it in spades. He’s got so much quality and self-confidence, and though he’s left-footed he can play on either wing, no problem. Defenders better keep their legs close together or they’ll be on the end of nutmegs that’ll get the fans out of their seats at the Bernabéu!
What does it mean to him and his family to make his first-team breakthrough?
A dream has come true for him: to be a professional footballer and, on top of that, a professional footballer for Real Madrid. His family must be so happy and proud.