La Liga just can’t stop taking punches to the gut apparently. After dealing with a two-year transfer ban being handed down to giant club Barcelona, it appears the reigning European champion and La Liga titleholders are both on the way to FIFA transfer bans.
Yes, both Real Madrid and rival Atletico Madrid are being hit with bans according to a report from Spanish radio station Cadena Ser. The reason for the bans? Barcelona should be very familiar, as both Madrid sides are being hit with the ban for the same reasons as the Catalonian club — illegal transfers of youth players.
According to FIFA rules, there are only three reasons a youth international player can be transferred across national borders before turning 18:
The player’s parents have moved to a country for their own non-related reasons; the moves takes place within the European Union if a player is aged between 16 and 18; or the player’s home is less than 50 kilometers from the national border being crossed.
According to the reporting, both sides expect to be hit with a ban for this upcoming summer transfer window and also the winter transfer window that closes at the end of January.
Both clubs could do what Barcelona did and appeal the bans, allowing for them to go through at least one of the two upcoming windows and get ready to take on the bans.
More importantly, this would affect much of the big time transfers speculated around the soccer world. Should there be no appeal of the reportedly upcoming bans, Real Madrid may not be in on Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.
That in turn slows down a much talked about move to Man U for Tottenham Hotspur star goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Such begins the vicious cycle at the top of the European soccer food chain.
It also means Madrid is likely stuck with a lineup that has had many problems getting on the same page. There are aging stars on the books and young players whom Los Blancos just haven’t been able to develop yet.
One of those players was 16-year old Martin Odegaard, who has languished and failed to impress on the reserve side. Other signings haven’t really panned out either, as Los Blancos attempted to add some up and coming players in hopes of fending off any upcoming ban.
Just how desperate are Real Madrid? Well, they’ve gone on a tear in signing Brazilians with huge upsides and light experience at the highest levels. Names like Marco Asensio, Danilo and Lucas Silva haven’t exactly set the world on fire yet either.
Lucas Silva, a 22-year old, has made just seven appearances for the first side. Fellow young Brazilian, Marco Asensio, was signed from Mallorca in late November and has stayed with his original club.
He’ll be one of the few players coming in this offseason, but should Real Madrid appeal the ruling then his signing is likely to be the least of names talked about.
Such is the desperation of the Spanish giants, as they are willing to sign a 19-year old who has barely scratched the surface of Mallorca’s first team in the hopes of reversing the aging of it’s squad.
Then there is perhaps the least youthful of the bunch, Danilo, whom Real Madrid paid over 31 million euros for in a transfer agreement with FC Porto in Portugal.
He’s expected to be an answer in the defense for a side who have had issues in the back during the past few campaigns.
Still, you can see the desperation by reaching out to the tree of Brazilian soccer and hoping to pluck some golden players to restock the side before it hunkers down and can’t do anything to change it’s future.
This ban could actually have a much bigger impact on Atletico Madrid, who are clearly on a much smaller budget than their cross-town rivals. Being able to sell high, buy lower and find the next talents to bring extra money to the coffers is the model that has brought the red and white part of Madrid such success as of late.
Being banned from selling players, more than buying, is what will be huge for Atletico.
With all three of the big clubs in La Liga facing issues with international youth transfers, it’s a massive problem for a league looking to try and compete for viewership in international markets. Having the biggest sides on the wrong side of FIFA regulations isn’t a good look for growing an audience to say the least.