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Takefusa Kubo, Japanese Messi joins Real Madrid’s B Team

Real Madrid confirmed on Friday the signing of Japanese teenager Takefusa Kubo, who is known as Japanese Messi.

The 18-year-old joins from FC Tokyo and will play for Madrid’s B team, Castilla, next season.

“Takefusa Kubo will join Castilla next season,” a Real Madrid statement read.

“He is one of the most promising young players in world football, an attacking midfielder with excellent technique and great vision for the game.”

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Kubo, who has been dubbed the “Japanese Messi”, made his full international debut against El Salvador earlier this month and was also linked with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Premier League champions Manchester City.

Kubo earned his nickname after joining Barca’s youth academy aged 10 but returned to Japan in 2015 as a result of FIFA sanctions handed to the club for breaching rules on signing under-age players.

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Barcelona have kept tabs on Kubo ever since but Madrid stole a march on their La Liga rivals with an offer of two million euros ($2.25 million) a year, according to Japanese media.

Kubo came on as a second-half substitute in Japan’s 2-0 win over El Salvador last weekend and has been included in the Blue Samurai squad for the Copa America, which begins on Friday in Brazil.

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He has scored four goals in 13 J-League games this year for Tokyo.

Japan open their second Copa America campaign against Chile in Sao Paulo on Monday.

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