08 July 2011
Javier Garcia Santos / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Real Madrid continue to bet on youth. Last season the average age of Jose Mourinho's side was lower than 25 and, judging from the age of the team's latest signings, it seems it will be even lower this year. The 2011/12 Real Madrid side will continue to showcase a great mix of youth and experience.
The average age of the squad right now is 24.8 years, making it the youngest the club's had in the past decade. Only Casillas and Carvalho are 30 or older, while 20 men on the team are 26 or younger.
Following the success last season of men like Ozil, Di Maria and Khedira (none of whom was older than 23), the club has decided to continue signing young players. Altintop (28 years old), Callejon (24), Sahin (22), Varane (18) and Coentrao (23) average 23 years of age between them and represent one of the youngest generations of signings of recent years.
Looking back, it is possible to see club policy was to sign players who were 25 years old on average, but the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema and other players changed this, lowering this average to 23.7.
Raphael Varane is only 18 years and two months old, and therefore President Florentino Perez's youngest ever signing. He is closely followed on this list by Sergio Canales and Sergio Ramos, who were both 19 when they signed for the club. Sahin arrived at the club a few weeks before the French centre back, having earned Best Player honours in the 2010/11 Bundesliga and recently been named FIFA's young player with the most promising future.
The team won the Copa del Rey last season and looks to take both the league and UCL titles next year. The combination of youth and experience on the squad will again play a crucial role in the team's success.