Vinicius, Ruiz and the Top 10 teenage stars to watch at Barcelona & Real Madrid

Barcelona Real Madrid NxGn
The two Spanish giants have recruited teenage talent from across the world - here are some of the best from the category 2000 and below

  1. Miguel Baeza | Real Madrid

    #1 Miguel Baeza | Real Madrid

    Baeza has been ever-present for Real Madrid in the 2018-19 Youth League, scoring two goals on the way to help his side become the first to qualify for the quarter-finals. 

    A talented young midfielder with a rocket for a shot, the 18-year-old has impressed all the right people at the Bernabeu. Towards the end of last season he was invited to train with the senior side by Zidane and should be knocking on the doors of the first team sooner rather than later.

  2. Alejandro Marques | Barcelona

    #2 Alejandro Marques | Barcelona

    At just 18 this Venezuelan wonderkid is still some way from making his mark on the first team. But he has wasted no time in endearing himself to Barcelona fans after engineering 2018's UEFA Youth League final victory. 

    Marques, who has lived in Spain since he was 13 and previously played in the Espanyol youth set-up, scored a fine double in his club's victory over Chelsea to seal Barca's first-ever title in the competition. He is eligible for both Spain and Venezuela at international level, with both nations keen to secure the services of this natural young goalscorer. 

  3. Juan Miranda | Barcelona

    #3 Juan Miranda | Barcelona

    Miranda's road to the Barca first team will not be easy. In front of the 19-year-old left-back is none other than Jordi Alba, one of the best in the world in his position. 

    The fleeting signs he has shown so far though are encouraging. Miranda made his debut at the tender age of 17, and appeared for the first time in the Champions League in December to hold Tottenham to a draw. 

    He has also been a regular face for his club in their journey to the Copa del Rey final this season, and much is expected of this young prospect.

  4. Mateu Morey | Barcelona
    FC Barcelona / Autor: Marc González

    #4 Mateu Morey | Barcelona

    Right-back Morey celebrated his 19th birthday at the start of March, and is among a select group of Barcelona prospects that have already achieved success at club and international level. 

    He was part of Spain's triumphant Under-17 European Championship team in 2017, and the following year played as Barca took the UEFA Youth League title. Bayern Munich have been linked with the teenager's services in the past, but for now Morey looks set to pursue his career at his hometown club.

  5. Moha Ramos | Real Madrid
    Getty Images

    #5 Moha Ramos | Real Madrid

    At just 18 the Tenerife-born goalkeeper has been a regular face in Madrid's squad call-ups, even travelling with the first team for the 2017 Club World Cup in Dubai. 

    Ramos is also making waves with his performances with Castilla and in the UEFA Youth League, with many in the club impressed with his size and agility between the posts. He will struggle to make the step up with Thibaut Courtois and Keylor Navas - not to mention on-loan Lunin - ahead of him, but is without a doubt a top promise for the future.

  6. Rodrygo | Real Madrid

    #6 Rodrygo | Real Madrid

    Rodrygo is yet to link up with his Madrid team-mates, with part of the conditions of his €45 million (£38m/$50m) stating that he would remain with Santos until June 2019 on loan. 

    There is great expectation over what the 18-year-old forward can achieve at the Bernabeu, however, with former rival on the pitch Vinicius leading the way and proving age is no barrier to success. 

    The Santos wonderkid's dribbling ability and eye for goal has drawn inevitable comparisons to Neymar, a previous Peixe favourite, and he played all but three of his club's Serie A campaign last year and netted eight goals as they finished 10th.

  7. Abel Ruiz | Barcelona

    #7 Abel Ruiz | Barcelona

    The 19-year-old forward has not had the opportunity to shine for the Catalans at senior level so far, but his performances for the Barcelona B team and in the Spanish youth divisions point to the brightest of futures. 

    Ruiz is the top scorer in Spanish history at Under-17 level, having smashed no less than 26 goals in the age group. He was also key to the Blaugrana in their UEFA Youth League triumph of 2017-18, scoring in the final as heavyweights Chelsea were taken down 3-0.

  8. Xavi Simons | Barcelona

    #8 Xavi Simons | Barcelona

    At the tender age of 15 Simons has been tipped for stardom almost since he took his first steps with a ball. He has already appeared for the Netherlands at Under-16 level and belongs to Mino Raiola's stable of superstars. 

    The talents which have seen him labelled the "New Messi" in certain hyperbolic circles have not gone unnoticed elsewhere, either. 

    Chelsea and PSG are among the clubs reportedly interested in the wonderkid's services, although Barcelona are prepared to pull out all the stops in order to sign him to a long-term professional deal. 

  9. Vinicius Junior | Real Madrid
    Getty Images

    #9 Vinicius Junior | Real Madrid

    Vinicius' talents are no secret. The Brazilian has smashed his way into the first team under Santiago Solari and had already established himself before an unfortunate injury threatens to cut his debut season short. 

    The ex-Flamengo man has returned four goals and six assists so far in 2018-19, and has been one of the bright spots in an underwhelming Madrid campaign.

    Even with Zinedine Zidane now back at the helm, the runner-up in this year's NxGn looks set to command a starting spot for years to come.

  10. Theo Zidane | Real Madrid

    #10 Theo Zidane | Real Madrid

    Word around the Bernabeu is that Theo, the youngest of Zinedine Zidane's three football-playing offspring, is the most talented of all the trio.

    At the start of the 2018-19 season, the France Under-17 international received the call to join Madrid's Juvenil B set-up, a big move for a kid still months away from his 17th birthday. 

    The youngest member of the Juvenil B team, Zidane has netted three goals in 11 games so far as the Merengue youngsters sit pretty at the top of the table.

    His father's return as coach certainly shouldn't hinder his hopes of cracking the first-team squad.