Real Madrid’s victory against Braga has allowed the white team to seal their qualification for the round of 16 of the Champions League. But it has also served to Carlo Ancelotti He is encouraged to debut his first youth player of the season. He is Argentine and responds to the name of Nico Paz.
Nico Paz has entered the field at the Santiago Bernabéu, replacing Fede Valverde, in a window with two substitutions, with Joselu replacing the scorer Rodrygo. As is usual in debuts, the white coliseum received him with a standing ovation.
Who is Nico Paz?
But who is Nico Paz? “He’s great, he should always train with us.” Those were the words of Toni Kroos in the summer referring to the then white youth player who has dazzled all those who have seen him play. And the 19-year-old white youth player won over his teammates and also Carlo Ancelotti, who did not miss the opportunity to take him on the American tour after the setback of Dani Ceballos’ injury and giving him his first half hour with the seniors against the AC Milan in the first preseason test.
Big project feeling
With Nico Paz there is a general feeling within the club. He will be a star. The 19-year-old Spanish-Argentine, despite sharing a generation with extremely talented players such as Manuel Ángel (already an under-19 international) or Gonzalo García, He has confirmed himself on his own merits as the absolute leader of the Arbeloa Juvenil A team where he won three titles (League, Cup and Champions Cup) and has ended up starting and adding 14 games, three goals and an assist in 1ºRFEF in Raúl’s Castilla with stellar performances in venues such as the El Arcángel Stadium in Córdoba which helped him start against FC Barcelona B and Eldense in the playoff for promotion to Second, Key quotes for the white team.
The young Spanish-Argentine midfielder, He is a skilled and technical playmaker, with a subtle and refined quality that attracts attention as soon as he sees him. In Raúl’s Castilla he acted as a right winger, showing that he also has a dribble, an overflow and a goal. and a future is even foreseen as a long-term and physical interior (Despite being 18 years old, he is already 1.85 and weighs 79 kilos).
With contract until 2027it seems difficult to open a space in a first team that will add seven midfielders (plus Arda Güler, who plays in its radius of action) for this season on a regular basis, but he already seems to have overtaken other players like Álvaro Rodríguez in the order preferably Ancelotti, that last year he was captivated by the young man’s talent and called him up for the first time for the Copa del Rey round of 32 match against Cacereñoin addition to having counted for several training sessions during the last campaign and seems to spoil every time he can.
Who is Nico Paz and why has he earned that spot on Madrid’s tour?
Born on September 8, 2004 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Nicolás Paz Martínez was not born on the Chicharrera island by chance. His father is Pablo Paz, a legendary Argentine international defender who won a medal in Atlanta 1996 and who later had a career in Spain with CD Tenerife, Real Valladolid and CD Lugo, leaving his mark on the island team. place where his son would be born, to whom he would transmit his passion for football. Nico’s first steps were in the Canary Islands, in local clubs until he signed for the CD Tenerife youth team.
In 2016, Real Madrid would knock on their door by entering Infantil B. Since then, his progression has been unstoppable through all the lower categories of the white club until his arrival at Álvaro Arbeloa’s Juvenil A, where he has begun to explode definitively. standing out as an exceptional midfielder and consolidating its new status as the great banner of La Fábrica.
This fact caused a conflict between the Spanish National Team and the Argentine National Team to ensure the player’s international future. until Lionel Scaloni decided to include him in the pre-list of 44 footballers for the World Cup in Qatar, which ended up favoring the player and showed that he was already closer to the elite than many could foresee. He still continues to play with Javier Mascherano’s Under-20 team, team with which he played the South American Championship in Colombia in January, but a debut is in sight in the very short term.
But the 2022/23 season has not only been that of his promotion within the hierarchy of the Argentine National Team, But Nico Paz has been the youth player who has burned the most stages this season and seems closest to the first team. Already in 2021/22, Raúl gave him the alternative in a victory at the Alfredo Di Stéfano against Andorrabut this year he has become one of the regulars for the reserve team coach.
This season he has six goals in nine appearances with Real Madrid Castilla, in Primera RFEF. Leader numbers that he has also adorned with an assist.
Key in the achievement of the Juvenil A treble, it was considered that Nico had already broken that ceiling and after the return of the South American U-20 he began training between Castilla and the first team, which earned him that trip to Cáceres, competing alone with the Arbeloa team in the finals and big events. Called to be Sergio Arribas’ replacement at Castilla in terms of leadership and football evolution always supervised by a Raúl whose pulse did not tremble to make a place for him in his eleven type and to recommend it to “Carletto”, who undoubtedly took note.
Debut against a seven-time European champion
Despite The midfield is the most populated position of the current Real Madrid, Ancelotti put him on the plane for the American tour and not only that, because the young playmaker made his debut with the first team in the friendly against AC Milan. He came on for Jude Bellingham and would add half an hour of play in which he left details of his quality, energy and stride despite it being his debut and playing in a scheme still in the filming phase as Ancelotti commented. And he repeated against Manchester United, coming on with twenty minutes left for Vinicius.
During those weeks, Nico Paz lived the experience of feeling like a first team player and soak up the quality of players like Luka Modric or Toni Kroos, who seemed to have sponsored him. It is difficult to find a place in a crowded midfield, but you will be able to continue enjoying opportunities that continue to make fans fall in love with you and earning a preferential spot for the Real Madrid of the future. At the moment he has already taken the first step: making his debut.