Ancelotti is not a coach given to pulling the quarry for nothing: in the entire course he has barely distributed 71 minutes to Castilla players. Sergio Arribas has received 19 of them and has known how to take advantage of them: in the Club World Cup semifinal, against Al Ahly, he scored his first goal for Real Madrid, which produced an explosion of happiness in Leganés, from where the match was being followed his family. “He came out a minute from the end and when we saw him we said to ourselves: ‘It’s something’. What we didn’t expect was for him to score on his first ball. It was a shot of emotion, some tears escaped us. What more could you want?”, says Enrique, his father, who meets with AS to review the origins of the most brilliant pearl of Valdebebas.
A taxi driver by profession (Arribas’s mother is a nurse), Enrique avoids photos for this report: “The protagonist is my son because of what he is doing, not me.” What he is doing has already earned Arribas a chant typical of the animation stands at the Bernabéu, in Madrid-Elche, witnessed by his father: “It was unexpected. That they love your son like that… well, it’s cool. And you can see that people are wanting boys to come out ”.
Arribas had already made his debut with the first team in 2020-21, under Zidane, one of his idols and who always seemed to understand him: “I talked a lot with him, I told him: ‘You’re going to arrive, sure.’ And the funny thing is that she is now with Raúl, another of her idols. She has always had a very good ‘feeling’ with him. And I’m glad, Raúl seems to me an example of a professional, the one I set for my children: he fought all of them, they brought him competition and he survived, he respected his rival and the referee… ”. However, in 2021-22 Ancelotti did not take into account the qualities of the small midfielder, who finished that season with 15 goals (he already has 12). “Another coach arrives and you don’t fit him… well, you don’t fit him. You have not changed. But he is clear that his place is Castilla. When he goes up, it’s a prize: he enjoys, learns and takes notes, ”explains Enrique.
Arribas, who also showed aptitude for tennis, entered the Madrid youth academy in 2012, at the age of 11, although he was able to do it before: when he was still playing for the Pérez Galdós de Leganés school team, he tried out, but was not selected. He was taken by Lega, although two years later the white club would amend that mistake. He burned stages at full speed until he reached Juvenil B led by Álvaro Benito: “That year suited him well. He had light and dark, playing with older people, He went to the bench, even some days he was not called up… It was a slap in the face, it helped him realize that he had to give more. Then Raúl arrived and there he skyrocketed, in goals, in assists, seeing everything very easily. He realized his own ability ”.
“Who wouldn’t like to stay at Madrid?”
Light in appearance due to his 174 centimeters (“His physique was always his handicap, especially as a child. He was the shortest, it took its toll on him. Over time he learned tricks, he supplements it with his technique”), his father has always insisted that he keep his feet on the ground: “As a child they asked him for photos and I told him: ‘It’s not for you, it’s for that shield ‘. I tell him that he always has to take care of the children, he was one of them. And that he be humble, hardworking and a good person; with those three things, he will probably suit you well ”.
Madrid asked him for an effort last summer to promote Castilla despite having offers from the First Division: “There is always time to leave Madrid, coming back is more difficult. He made a bet for the club. At the end of the year we will see. What would you like to stay in Madrid? Sure, and who doesn’t. But nowhere are they going to give you the minutes”.