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Wednesday 9. January 2019 - 15:58

Meet Real Madrid signing Brahim Diaz: 'A Little like Lionel Messi and a ballboy for Isco'

The 19-year-old could feature on Wednesday for his new club amid an injury crisis for Santiago Solari's side.

Brahim Diaz could have been turning out for Manchester City on Wednesday in their League Cup semi-final first leg against Burton Albion. Instead, paperwork permitting, he will make his Real Madrid debut at home to Leganes in the Copa del Rey.

The 19-year-old attacking midfielder completed his €17 million move to Real on Sunday and was unveiled at the Santiago Bernabeu on Monday. On Tuesday, he was named in the squad for Wednesday's cup clash. It has been quite an eventful few days for the youngster.

Brahim was frustrated at his lack of playing time at City and there is some disappointment in Manchester at how one of the club’s most exciting young players has slipped through the net – especially after winger Jadon Sancho left in similar circumstances for Borussia Dortmund last year.

At his unveiling on Monday, he said it had been a dream to play for Real since a young age, although Spanish sports show Jugones later unearthed an interview of the player aged 12 when he admitted he preferred Barcelona and Lionel Messi to Madrid.

Diaz was compared to Messi in his formative years due to his superb dribbling ability and almost left his boyhood club Malaga to join Barca in 2011, only to end up staying after the Andalusians offered him better terms.

While at Malaga, Brahim was a ballboy and he posted a picture on his Instagram in 2016 which shows him watching on from the stands at La Rosaleda as Santi Cazorla and Isco celebrate a goal.

Now, of course, he links up with Isco at Real Madrid and he could even compete with the Spain midfielder for a place in the team in the years to come.

Brahim, who scored a stunning goal against Real in pre-season last year for City in a 4-1 win, is seen as a player for the future at Madrid and not a solution to the team’s current woes. They should not expect too much, too soon.

Diaz is two-footed, with superb technique and the ability to move the ball quickly in tight spaces. He is an excellent dribbler, who can score with both feet (from close and long range) and is happy on either wing or behind a striker. "I can play in any of the attacking positions," he said on Monday.

The comparison with Messi is not helpful to any player, but there are similarities and Real Madrid have an extremely exciting player on their hands.

On Wednesday, against Leganes, the fans should get their first glimpse of his talents.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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