“I see Joselu capable of scoring 20 goals this year”

Juanfran Moreno (34 years old) knows very well that nucleus of homegrown players who will form the new captain Nacho, Carvajal, Lucas Vázquez and Joselu at Real Madrid 2023-24, who is coming home through the front door. With them he formed “the best Castilla there has ever been”, says Juanfran, referring to the last white subsidiary to achieve promotion to Second, just eleven years ago. The full-back, who has just finished the season with Oviedo, is considering his future: continue short or jump to the other side, in a role as coach, sports director or even in representation…

You are a restless fellow. What will he do in 2023-24?

I’m thinking about it. The options that I have in the Second Division do not end up attracting me and I am evaluating the RFEF First Division, I am brave, but it would have to be a team with the objective of promotion. I am also training. I have oriented myself towards representation, with Promosport, the company with which I have worked for ten years. I have also done courses at LaLiga Business School, which are very interesting. In November I will start one oriented towards sports management.

Castilla has once again been left with honey on their lips. This time he stayed in Elda six minutes from ascending…

It is painful not to go up, to return to professional football, but I think that Madrid is achieving the great objective of training players. There are very interesting players in this Castilla. They have Arribas, which is differential in the category. I love Rafa Marín and I see Dotor in him to make the jump to professional football. Iker Bravo has had a bit of a hard time adapting. And then I don’t know if all the boys are aware, but what a privilege it is to have Raúl as a coach… he was the greatest in Spain for many years. I briefly shared a dressing room with him.

“Raúl is the best possible successor to Ancelotti, as happened with Zidane”

Juanfran, in AS

He has had offers to leave but has decided to stay in Valdebebas. Do you see him training Madrid before or after?

It would be the best possible decision for Madrid. It is the best possible replacement to be the successor to Ancelotti. Carletto will be there for as long as he wants to be, because his success at the club has been resounding, but there is no other with more Madrid DNA than Raúl. It is the best bet, as was done in his day with Zidane. Raúl is very intelligent and he is also now. Knowing that it is not necessary to run, he goes one step at a time. Raúl could leave Madrid whenever he wanted, to Qatar, to Germany… wherever he wanted. Tomorrow I’m sure he’ll be in Madrid’s pools, he has to be. The ideal would be to prolong the chain. He to the first team and Arbeloa, who is doing very well, to Castilla.

Of that Castilla of 2011-12, up to fourteen footballers were still in professional football last season, more than a decade later. It is a fact that speaks for itself.

It is the best Castilla that there has been in history. Like those who saw Castilla de la Quinta del Buitre or the Recopa, they will jump on me, but with data, ours was the best. The football career that 80 percent of that Castilla has made has never been achieved by any other. I would dare to say that no other subsidiary in the history of Spanish football. We were very good. When we went up to Segunda… Casemiro and Fabinho even came. The year of promotion was a daily enjoyment, we knew that we were going to rise from the first game.

The Castilla of Juanfran, Joselu, Nacho, Carvajal, Jesé, Morata... rose in 2012 sweeping Second B.
The Castilla of Juanfran, Joselu, Nacho, Carvajal, Jesé, Morata… rose in 2012 sweeping Second B.FELIPE SEVILLANOACE DAILY

Joselu opens a new hope to the homegrown players who have to leave. The one that it is possible to return even if you are over thirty…

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I am a friend of yours, including our families. With him and Carva we always get together when we have a few days off. I am happy and I told him that he had to row a lot during his career to return to Madrid, but also that I think that ten years ago he already had what it took to be there. I have had to row in England, in Germany, he came to Deportivo and they injured him from a nasty kick in the first game, he was the top scorer at Alavés and Espanyol… he has earned it. His definition, his ability to win disputes, what Joselu has, few strikers in Spain have. And he has sought his life. I would be surprised if this year, as soon as they give him continuity, he doesn’t go above 20 goals. I say it very calmly, I see him capable. He is a very intelligent and professional guy, he is not a player that if he doesn’t play he will get carried away. He is going to take advantage of the minutes and when he takes out that lever that he has with both legs… Signing him has been a success.

“His is a gift, he is the perfect prototype of a Real Madrid footballer”

Juanfran, in AS

And what about Nacho? Since Casillas, the bracelet has not passed to a youth squad…

I was lucky to be at his debut, at Mestalla. In that game I was also called up with the first team. He is the prototype of the perfect footballer. He always raises his voice for good, never for bad. It is that he has a Real Madrid level. What he does is very difficult, that performance at his best always coming from not playing. That is a gift and he has always had it. If instead of being called Nacho he called himself something else, he would be more valued. He has also happened to him with the National Team. He did not go to the World Cup unfairly. They were players well below his level. It is mandatory that Nacho retire in Madrid and knowing Florentino Pérez, I’m sure he is what he wants too. There are few players like that.

Let’s go back to, what is the formula for Castilla to finally return to Second Division? There are five playoff eliminators in which…

The solution is for me to return to Madrid (laughs). The question I ask myself, because I still have many friends at La Fábrica, is whether Madrid needs to have a subsidiary in Segunda. The goal is to train. It is not a failure not to have gone up. The subsidiaries in Second have a hard time if your objective is to make players. I, for example, was at Villarreal B with colleagues who were 30 years old because the plan was to raise it no matter what. I think Madrid is looking for something else. He is comfortable in the RFEF First Division, perhaps because in the Second Division you would surely have to play in a different way to save the category, which would not be the best way to train your promises. I am in favor of a league of subsidiaries.

Yeah?

I am a supporter. That it was a mirror of the Primera. I think it would be very exciting… And then there is the recovery of Real Madrid C, another success. Madrid is doing phenomenal with its youth system.

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