Barcelona's Konrad de la Fuente said NO to a proposal from Real Madrid

NEWS

The U.S winger has had an impressive preseason under Ronald Koeman

Rapidez y precisión: la jugada por banda de Konrad ante el Girona | FCB

Barcelona youngster Konrad de la Fuente is enjoying a breakthrough preseason under new coach Ronald Koeman but things could have been very different. 

Sergi Capdevila

@scapde_45

Konrad, 19, has played in two of Barça's three friendlies, with Koeman highlighting him as the youngster he's been most impressed with so far. 

However, when he was 11, the Miami-born United States youth international, could have ended up moving to Clasico rivals Real Madrid instead. 

The De la Fuente family moved to Barcelona to work for the Haitian embassy despite the fact the father was working in Madrid during the week. 

Konrad, meanwhile, had started to play for the Escuela Tecnofútbol (Fundación Marcet). He didn't know at the time but Barça, through Marcel Sans and Isaac Garcá Conejo, were already watching him. 

His next step was to move to Damm, a respected youth football team in the Catalan capital. He continued to develop and Barça finally decided to make a move for him. 

That's when Real Madrid tried to intervene, too. They got in touch with his father, knowing that he spent the majority of the week in the city, and made him a good offer on a sporting level and one which would see the family move to Madrid, too. 

After weighing it up, the family and Konrad, who was 11 at the time, decided it would be best to continue his career at Barça. The project excited and persuaded them to stay in Barcelona, a city they had become at home in: a better climate and the sea reminding them of Miami and the Caribbean.

It proved the right decision. Since then, Konrad has continued to progress through Barça's academy. He is now in the B team but did preseason with the first team.  

At 19, he has a big future ahead of him and recently penned a new deal to stay with the club. A winger by trade, he's quick and could also play as a No.9 in the future. 

Koeman is a big fan and said as much after the Girona game. The most logical thing for him now is to return to the B team where he can play regularly out of the limelight, but an official first-team debut has not been ruled out.  

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