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Real Madrid's Valverde gets Spanish citizenship

05 Sep 2019, 21:57 ( 17 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Chile's Pablo Hernandez (C) heads the ball with Rodrigo Bentancur (L) and Federico Valverde of Uruguay during a Copa America 2019 match. File Photo Xinhua.

Real Madrid had some good news on Thursday when their Uruguayan midfielder Federico Valverde was granted Spanish nationality.

   The 21-year-old midfielder's new passport frees up a place in Madrid's first-team squad for 18-year-old Brazilian Rodrygo Silva de Goes, who arrived at the club this summer from Santos for 45 million euros (50 million U.S. dollars).

   La Liga rules state that sides are only allowed three non-EU players in their squads, and at the start of the season those places at Real Madrid were occupied by Valverde, Eder Militao and Vinicius Jr.

   That meant that Rodrygo was sent to Madrid's B-team Castilla to gain experience, while Japanese international forward Takefusa Kubo was loaned to Real Mallorca.

   Rodrygo has yet to play for Castilla due to a muscle injury suffered at the start of pre-season, but his performances in the summer suggest he may soon get a chance in the first team.