Barça’s Biggest Mistake in a Long Time

Nobody’s perfect. It’s a known fact that people will mess up at some point in their lives, whether the mistake is big or small. The same goes for larger groups of people, including businesses, corporations, and even teams. However, big mistakes are typically targets for intense criticism. In the case of soccer clubs, they often justify letting players go by simply saying that the teams will be just fine without them. But sometimes, the player’s departure leaves a gaping hole, and in the case of Japanese attacking midfielder Takefusa Kubo, nicknamed “The Japanese Messi,” Barcelona will regret allowing him to leave for years to come.

To make matters worse, Kubo was signed by Barça’s arch-rival, Real Madrid. The most mind-numbing part is how closely tied Kubo was with the Blaugrana. Takefusa Kubo was trained at FC Barcelona’s famed academy, La Masia. For years, his trainers marveled at the similarities between the diminutive Asian and another equally diminutive academy product, Lionel Messi. However, the team was forced by FIFA to sell Kubo after running afoul of FIFA’s rules governing the signing of underage players from other continents. So, Kubo left for FC Tokyo, while FC Barcelona retained the first right of refusal to bring him back into the fold after he turned 18.

That occurred on June 4th of this year, and FC Barcelona jumped at the chance to sign him for €2 million. The problem is that Barça alleged that Kubo was asking for too big of a salary, and abandoned the idea. This shortsighted decision is in line with Barça’s recent move away from fielding academy products, something that made the team feared a decade ago, instead opting to spend obscene amounts of money to acquire other players.

So in steps Real Madrid, FC Barcelona’s most hated rival. Real Madrid decided to sign the Japanese player, betting on his ability to emulate his “nickname-sake.” In only one week of training camp, fans and coaches alike have witnessed Kubo’s sublime talent, as well as his ability to speak impeccable Spanish, which will certainly help in getting him acclimated to the team’s culture.

What does this mean for FC Barcelona? In the age of insanely inflated transfer fees, realizing that the team may have missed out on resigning a former academy standout for a pittance will leave the club’s hierarchy regretting their choice. And the fact that Kubo will be plying his trade for his first club’s nemesis makes that fact sting even more.

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