Antonio Blanco has had some year.
Last summer he won the UEFA Youth League for Real Madrid‘s under-19s under Raul Gonzalez and, as this summer begins, he has featured for the full Spain side.
It’s a 12-month period that has sent Blanco‘s star into orbit, and as he goes on his summer break he will come back in 2021/22 waiting to see what plans new Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has for him.
Blanco isn’t the only one rising up from Los Merengues‘ academy, with the likes of Miguel Gutierrez, Victor Chust and Sergio Arribas also working their way into the first team.
Blanco‘s debut under Zinedine Zidane came on April 18 against Getafe.
From there he made three more appearances in the first XI, starting twice against Cadiz and Osasuna.
Such was his impact in these games that he began to be considered as part of the player pool for the first team.
And the Real Madrid hierarchy believe they’ve got a reliable back-up for Casemiro on their hands.
Blanco‘s development didn’t stop there, though, with his form catching the eye of the Spanish national coaches.
Jon Moncayola’s injury opened the door to the under-21 side, and Blanco was in the squad for the final stages of the European Championship.
If he didn’t play any minutes there, then – spectacularly and unexpectedly – he did for the full side against Lithuania on Tuesday, with the under-21s filling the breach left by the isolating senior squad.
To cap it all, Blanco has recently been snapped up by talent agency ‘Best of You’, which counts the likes of Casemiro and Eder Militao amongst its clients.