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Sunday 2. December 2001 - 11:47

Del Bosque gives youth a chance

Vicente Del Bosque caused a surprise on Thursday by introducing youth team starlet Bernabé Ballester into the first team training session.

The 19-year-old central defender joined Real from Xátiva five years ago but his chance for a slice of the big time could be just around the corner as Aitor Karanka finds himself further marginalised from the squad.

Bernabé is the lastest youth team star to be brought through the ranks, Del Bosque recently took a chance by including Francisco Pavón and Ural Bravo in Real's starting line-up, a move that seems to have paid off.

'Bern,' as he is affectionately known, is thrilled to be with Real's big boys, he said on Friday: "It's amazing to be training with the likes of Hierro, Figo, Roberto Carlos and Zidane. You really need to be playing on the field with them to realise that their game is played at a different tempo.

I'm pleased that Del Bosque has given me a chance, I plan to keep working hard and maybe someday, I'll be given the same chance to play like Pavón."

Meanwhile, Real have been linked to Uruguayan youngster Rubén Olivera. The 18-year-old midfielder, currently on the books at Danubio, could sign for the Merengues after next summer's World Cup finals.  
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