Federico Valvede reveals how he signed for Real Madrid.
Federico Valverde has explained how his impressive performance at the South American Under-17 Championship contributed to his transfer to Real Madrid.
After entering Madrid’s development system in 2016, the Uruguayan has since emerged as one of the world’s top midfielders, winning two La Liga championships and the UEFA Champions League with Los Blancos before making his first-team debut in 2018.
The 25-year-old’s recent signing of a new contract that extends until 2029 highlighted how important he is to Real Madrid.
In an article published on The Athletic, Valverde provided details about how his transfer to Real Madrid happened, stating that scouts were drawn to his exploits with the Uruguayan junior teams.
“I got the call that changed my whole life,” he said.
“I was playing at the South American Under-17 Championship in Paraguay. I had been killing it, and we were about to play a big match against Argentina the next day. I was sitting in my hotel room, and my parents were there staying in another room. My mom called me and said, ‘Hey, come to our room right now. There’s some people here who want to talk to you.’
“We had a curfew and weren’t supposed to leave our rooms, so I said, ‘I can’t, Mum. I gotta go.’ I hung up. She called me back, ‘Fede, come now. These men are from Real Madrid.’
“Literally, I thought she was pulling a prank. I rushed over to the room to see what was going on, and sure enough, there were two guys there I’d never seen before. She had tears in her eyes. But she’s always crying, so I still didn’t know what to think!
“They told me, ‘We’re from Real Madrid. We believe that you can become a star for us. We want you and your parents to move over to Madrid.’ I looked at my mom. I looked at my agent like: ‘Nah. You’re f****** with me.’ My mom looked back like: ‘Shut up, Fede. We are not f****** with you.’
“There are 500,000 players in the world and Madrid want to sign me? What??? I literally ran out of the room. I was yelling, ‘Where’s Dad? I need to tell Dad!!!’ I ran down to the lobby. My dad was standing around talking to one of the other parents, and I said, ‘Dad!!!! Dad!!! Madrid are here!!!!’
“That was the first perfect day of my life. Because I saw how excited my parents were. My mom cries for anything, but my dad is a rock. It takes a lot for him to show emotion, but I saw a tiny little crack! Hahahah. I saw the light in his eyes, you know?
“’My son plays for Real Madrid.’ There’s no price in the world you can put on that sentence.”