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Athletic Bilbao have registered 16-year-old Jonas Ramalho for play in the Europa League...

Athletic Bilbao will register 16-year-old Jonas Ramalho for play in the Europa League, the club have announced on their official website. It seems that the youngster is also set to debut for the first team in La Liga in the coming weeks.

Ramalho, who is of Angolan descent, holds the record for the youngest player to ever debut for Athletic when he appeared for Los Leones in a friendly match two years ago at 14 years, 8 months and 17 days old.

Athletic's other promising starlet, 16-year-old Iker Muniain, who has also broken into the first team this season as a promising goalscorer, also made his debut for Athletic in the same friendly match.

The two youngsters are evidence that, despite Athletic's self-imposed rules with respect to the players they employ, the club's youth system is, in light of the limited talent pool, still very capable of producing world-class talent.

Athletic Bilbao are famous for only employing players of Basque origin although in recent years that rule has been relaxed to include players of foreign origin who acquired and developed their footballing skills in the Basque region.

Cyrus C. Malek, Goal.com


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