6 Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid youngsters fans need to know about before derby showdown

The Madrid derby at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford promises to be an International Champions Cup spectacle for the ages. 

Yes, July 27 really can't come quick enough. Two of European soccer's fiercest rivals will go toe-to-toe in one of many tournament blockbusters this summer. 

And while fans will undoubtedly flock to MetLife to see the established stars of the LaLiga giants, the game will almost certainly feature some of Real and Atleti's young guns. 


The International Champions Cup is renowned for offering youth prospects a platform and the Madrid derby should be no different. Here are eight young stars you need to see in East Rutherford.

Rodrygo Goes (Real)

Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Robinho, Kaká, Marcelo. Some of the greatest Brazilians in soccer history have turned out in Real's famous white shirt. Now, Los Blancos are set to welcome another massive Seleção talent to their ranks in the shape of Rodrygo Goes. 

The 18-year-old winger is set to finally join the Spanish giants this summer, 12 months after agreeing to leave his beloved Santos for the Santiago Bernabéu. 

Making the leap from Brazil to Spain is daunting at such a tender age but Rodrygo is a generational talent. An electrifying wizard of the wing, the teenage flyer is guaranteed to get pulses racing when he lines out for Zinedine Zidane's side. 

Not since Neymar have Santos raved like this about a young player. That's how highly he's rated. 

Gustavo Assunção (Atlético)

Here's a wonderful nugget of information. Gustavo Assunção's father, Paulo, played for Atleti between 2008 and 2012, meaning he turned out for Diego Simeone at the start of the Argentine's reign, which began in December 2011. 

Now his son is on the verge of breaking into the first-team at the Wanda Metropolitano. 


The midfielder, who turned 19 in March, made Simeone's squad for the LaLiga game against Celta de Vigo in April. Although he didn't feature, the Brazilian starlet is tipped to make many more in the future. 

Vinícius Júnior (Real)

Of course, Rodrygo won't be the only Brazilian wonderkid among Zidane's ranks next season. 

Yes, before his injury in March, Vinícius was the samba star on everyone's lips in the Spanish capital. 

The former Flamengo dynamo, who debuted for Real in last year's International Champions Cup against Juventus, scored his first goal for the club in the win over Real Valladolid in November. From there, the rapid winger continued to impress, cementing his place in the starting XI until torn calf ligaments in his right leg sidelined him for eight weeks. 

However, having featured in Real's final three games of the season, he's expected to be back to his brilliant best for his second year at the International Champions Cup. 

Nehuén Pérez (Atlético)

It's set to be a summer of change at Atleti with defenders Diego Godín, Lucas Hernández and Juanfran all set to leave the club. 

Replacing three men of such indubitable stature won't be easy, of course, but luckily Simeone has a future defensive leader in the shape of Pérez. 

Still only 18, the Argentine is tipped to be a pillar of Simeone's backline, having impressed for his boyhood club Argentinos Juniors last season. 

A natural leader, Pérez is currently in Poland on Under-20 World Cup duty with the South Americans but will return in time to link up with his club ahead of this year's International Champions Cup. 

Javi Sánchez (Real)

Like their counterparts, Real have reached an interesting juncture regarding their defence. One of Zidane's main tasks in the coming year is finding a long-term replacement for the talismanic Sergio Ramos. 

The 33-year-old remains an important member of the Real dressing room but won't be around forever. Luckily, Zizou doesn't have to look very far for the Spanish legend's successor. 

In Javi Sánchez, the 13-time European champions have a rising star. The 22-year-old centre-back briefly broke into the first-team before Christmas but has been cutting his teeth with Real's Castilla side in Segunda División B – Group 1. 

An aggressive defender whose reading of the game allows him to stay one step ahead of the opposition, Sánchez also has an eye for a pass; an attribute which always helps burgeoning defenders in the modern game.

Nicolás Schiappacasse (Atlético)

Remember the name (even if it isn't the easiest to pronounce). 

Atleti have become synonymous with world-class forwards in recent years. Antoine Griezmann, Diego Costa, Fernando Torres, Diego Forlán, Radamel Falcao and Sergio Agüero. It's a simply stunning roster of names. 

And Uruguayan dynamo Schiappacasse has all the tools to add his name to that list. A debutant with River Plate at just 16, the 20-year-old is a hard-working, versatile attacker capable of playing anywhere across the frontline. 

His record for Uruguay's underage sides suggests a massive future; 35 goals in 78 appearances. He's currently starring at the Under-20 World Cup having led his nation to Copa Sudamericano U20 glory in 2017.