Exequiel Palaces is 20 years old. In your back accumulates in 47 games (24 starts) in the first team of River Plate. Already looking the Real Madrid. Gone are the times in which the talents of argentine football were jumping in the puddle bathed in the glory. Pablo Aimar joined Valencia after having played 124 games in the Millionaires, while Riquelme jumped out of the Pillbox at the Camp Nou after 194 duels with the t-shirt of Boca Juniors. “You can’t compare, before wages in european football were not the same as those of today, nor the situation of the most needy families in Argentina. Then, as soon as you see an offer, whatever, the guys and especially their families they want it to be ok,” told from the technical body of River. For now, this is not the case of Palaces. “You have the feet on the ground”.

“Today the work of scouting is much more elaborate, it starts to watch the players from smaller. With all of these platforms, it is easier to do the follow-ups. It captures that talent and want to appropriate before increase in the price of the player with projection,” says Javier Pinola, one of the leaders of River. In any case, the question of the scouts europeans in Argentina is recurring. “It is the first thing that you say: how is the environment of the player?”, account Rodolfo D’onofrio, president of River. “Exequiel has a back family very well”, adds the leader of the club band. And Palaces does not move of San Martín, a town in the Province of Buenos Aires, 13 km away from the Monumental. A house was built on the side of their parents. “After training they will eat all the days with your mom and your brother. Then go to your house to take a nap. Is not one of those guys that with his first salary are moving to Puerto Madero [urban development for the large fortunes]”, insisting from the technical body of River.

Marcelo Gallardo, coach of the club of Núñez fell in love with soccer Palaces when the steering wheel was 13 years old. The technician, who used to go to see the games of their children in the lower River, he pointed to the direction of the sport that I wanted to do a special follow-up to the development of the player born in Tucumán (a province in the north of Argentina). “He called Me the attention from a young Betlike age. What I have seen since I was in the ninth division. As a boy has become a man. You will continue to be accompanied in their growth. Does not surprise me at all in what has become, is a player very smart. Fast learning and listening, which is the most important thing,” says Gallardo. “Marcelo, I was taking little by little, it tells me that I have to be quiet. I look forward to continue working hard for him to trust in me,” explains Palacios.

In the summer of 2015, Gallardo took Palacios to the pre-season with the first team. During the course, however, sent him to the second team. Same formula the next year. Even in the campaign 2017-2018 what abrochó to the Monumental. And Lionel Scaloni, in their search for a reformulation of the selection argentina, summoned him to the Albiceleste. “It fills Me with pride their participation in the selection. Is a guy that we have been waiting for. That we have waited for their maturity and to insist on when you had to punish him and when to accompany it,” explains Gallardo. Not lack of those who pull him by the ear. Owner at River, a member of the new Albiceleste, the magazines were interested in her life. Was cut so faster, I suggested that you avoid certain companies and that you change your phone number. Made the case.

Twenty million

“we’re Not going to discover anything by saying that Exequiel is a good guy and an incredible player,” describes Pinola. “It is a very complete player, is technical and smart. It is more interior, and in this last time has been more committed in the game, both in the brand as in the creation. We have to keep in mind that is 20 years old, his future will be incredible,” said Enzo Francescoli. Not only the Madrid follows in the footsteps of the steering wheel. The Manchester City and Atletico asked for it. “It is difficult to pay 20 million for a player so young. We have good players in his position that stabilize its growth”, they make the scouts of the English club.

Madrid, on the other hand, seems willing to bet by the new pearl River, which has as idols to Modric and Kroos. “The argentine football living producing jewelry. It’s a young guy with a great talent and very focused”, D’onofrio. And asks: “what your question is if Real Madrid was looking at? The answer is yes, have interest in him. He said Butragueño to Francescoli. We were in conversation. I don’t know if we will talk here these days or in Abu Dhabi”, concludes a smiling president, who already display the River of Gallardo and of their protected Palaces in the World Club.