The unfulfilled promises of La Fábrica: De la Víbora, Bruno Iglesias, Mink Peeters, Gelabert…

In the last days of the January market, Real Madrid and Mérida formalized the transfer of David de la Víbora to Mérida. On paper, a leap forward for the left back, who goes from the white Juvenil A (where he had to end up by contract) to the First RFEF, which however includes the difficulties that one of the greatest promises of a Madrid youth academy, a player whom He signed a contract when he was still a cadet, in 2019, to avoid being taken away by clubs like Juventus, Liverpool, United or PSG.

De la Víbora was already loaned out in January of last season to play for Levante B, where he accumulated minutes. This season he started it again on loan, at RSC Internacional, where he has had few opportunities, but Mérida took an interest in him and Madrid hopes that he will take off in Extremadura. However, due to age (20 years), he could be fighting for a place in a Castilla that does not have plenty of players in his position (The usual headline is Obrador, also from Juvenil A), but Raúl has not considered it necessary.



It is one more case of footballers from the white youth academy with enough projection to think of them as potential first-team footballers and who, however, fail to get off the ground in Valdebebas and have to look for a life abroad. There are other cases; we analyze them.

Bruno Iglesias

It is the most shocking, since the expectations in the case of Iglesias were enormous. Álvaro Benito, for many years a coach in the Real Madrid youth academy, singled him out as Valdebebas’ greatest talent: “It has spectacular conditions. He has to improve things, mentally and with effort. But he has a quality… he is a Kaká-type midfielder, I love it ”. He maintained that interest as a youth, but this year he made the leap to Castilla and things went wrong.

Raúl began giving him opportunities, but he must not have been very satisfied with what he had seen, because he stopped lining up and even calling you up; he has barely accumulated 176 minutes until January and has just been loaned to RSC Internacional, jumping two categories back, from First RFEF to Third RFEF. He is very young (19 years old), but in Madrid he is concerned about how difficult it is for him to stand out with people older than him and they have wanted to find an environment without pressure for him to enhance his flight.

Israel Salazar

A striker with a light appearance, but of great technical quality, it was expected that he could nurture Castilla this season, but Raúl did not see it clearly and he was loaned to UCAM Murcia of Segunda RFEF, where he did not quite break to score, what he knows how to do best: he has played 15 games, most of them starting, and he has only scored one goal.

Madrid’s ambitious plan for Castilla to rise to the Second division this season, yes or yes, has played against him: he had to compete with Álvaro, the current head of the white subsidiary and a forward who they see in the club with the potential to be part of the first team next year, and also with a high-level loan like Iker Bravo and with a transfer that is not going as expected like Noel López.


One of the most talented players who have populated Valdebebas in recent years, he was part of the brilliant Juvenil de Guti team that won the League, Cup and Champions Cup in the 2016-17 season, but his next steps in the white structure were not the same. expected. He had plenty of opportunities at Castilla de Raúl in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, but injuries did not let him shine and when he played, he was not up to it either.


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So much so that in the summer of 2021, Madrid decided to give him the letter of freedom and signed for Mirandés, who plays in the Second Division. There he started out with opportunities, although in the second part of the 2021-22 season he tore his cruciate ligament, which slowed down his progression. In the last months of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, he has played again and regularly: he has a goal and two assists in 13 games this season. A very fine midfielder who is still looking for his place in elite football, although it seems clear that he will not do so with the Real Madrid shirt.

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Mink Peeters

Signed by Real Madrid in 2014, coming from an Ajax team that was cooking one of the best batches in its history; he shared a dressing room with players like De Ligt or Fosu-Mensah. However, at Real Madrid he had no luck, injuries slowed down his adaptation and he never played for Castilla, only in the youth teams (sharing a team, among others, with Fede Valverde), with very sporadic and diffuse appearances. .


This was followed by a series of assignments to Venlo, Almere and Lleida, after which Madrid understood that it would never be what was thought (he was nicknamed the Dutch Guti) and gave him the letter of freedom. He went through Cukaricki in Belgrade and Volendam in his country, barely accumulating minutes, after which he got into a maelstrom of injuries that has kept him dry-dock for two years. He is currently trying to get his career back on track at the EPC Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates league.

Sergio Diaz

It is common to look at the successes that Real Madrid has had in signing young players to nurture the first team after a brief stint in the youth academy or to be transferred for a good economic benefit: there are the Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius, Odegaard… But not all of them turned out so well. A paradigmatic case is that of Sergio Díaz, the Guarani ‘Kunsito’, signed from Cerro Porteño in exchange for 5 million euros and that he barely played 36 games for Castilla, scoring five goals.


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Seeing that he was not going to prosper as a potential first-team player, Madrid started a series of assignments with which he tried to recover part of the investment, but it was useless: he went through Lugo, Corinthians, again Cerro Porteño, América from Mexico… So until his contract ended and he was released. Currently he has returned to Cerro Porteño in his native Paraguay, where injuries prevent him from prospering. It is not the only case of paid signings for the quarry that barely offered performance: Augusto (3 million) or Rodrigo Rodrigues (1 million) also appear there.

The Zidanes

We speak in the plural, because all the children of the former white coach have lacked something to succeed in Madrid, and perhaps in general football. It is true that they have a starting problem: it is difficult to live up to the last name they carry on the DNI. The first was Enzo, to whom his father gave some opportunities in the 2016-17 season and even took him summoned to the 2016-17 Champions League final. Since then, he has gone through several teams of variable categories, without settling down: Alavés, Lausanne, Rayo Majadahonda, Desportivo Aves, Almería, Rodez… He currently plays for Fuenlabrada, in the First RFEF, where he is having a decent season: one goal and four assists in 21 games, being a regular starter.


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Next on the list was Luca, the doorman. He was a member of the first team, although always as the third goalkeeper and with few opportunities. A goalkeeper with great ball handling with his feet, but who makes mistakes that cost points, which in the long run has penalized him. He has gone through Racing, Rayo and Eibar, where he currently plays and where he has taken ownership in one of the teams that aspires to promotion to First Division.

Theo, currently at Castilla, does not enjoy many opportunities, but he has something that Raúl likes, as he is one of the usual changes for the white subsidiary and in recent weeks, thanks to absences in midfield, he has been a starter. And it remains to be seen how Elyaz, a well-deployed left-back who currently plays for Juvenil B, is doing; there are great hopes in the club, but it remains to be seen when it is his turn to make the leap to Castilla.

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