New Real Mallorca coach Jagoba Arrasate. | CATI CLADERA


I’m passionate about my football, especially when it comes to Real Mallorca and football in general here on the island. I believe it’s a help not only to tourism to have a team in La Liga but to the development of youth football on the island too. However, although the island does produce some great footballers, there haven’t been that many who’ve come through the ranks and made it to the Real Mallorca first team. The most notable is Marco Asensio, of course, who started at Platges de Calvia before moving to Real Mallorca, then to Real Madrid, and he’s currently playing for Paris St Germain.

The former coach of Mallorca, Javier Aguirre, wasn’t an advocate of bringing youth footballers through, but the new coach Jagoba Arrasate is apparently a fan of promoting them through from the academy. At his old club Osasuna at least six of the first team squad have come through the ranks. Pablo Ortells the director of football at Real Mallorca said this week, “We can win titles in grassroots football, but if we don’t develop players to move up to the first team, our work is incomplete.” Music to the ears of all youth footballers here on the island.

It comes after Mallorca’s division honor team (under 19’s) won their league and the Copa del Rey. Also, Mallorca B have just been promoted to the fourth tier of Spanish football and this team is made up of players between 18–24 years of age.

If these youngsters are given a chance, then there are many benefits for everyone. The club doesn’t need to spend money to bring players in, an exceptional player will no doubt get transferred for a fee to help pay for other transfers or to invest in the academy. Every supporter around the World loves a “home-grown” player. Most importantly, if there are those opportunities, you won’t see as many of our talented footballers leaving the island looking to play first team football.