Due to a change in the laws regarding players from outside the European Union, Gareth Bale’s impending return to Real Madrid will force the club to make difficult decisions about Brazilians Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, along with Eder Militao.
Only three players from outside the European Union are allowed in each team’s squad, according to Spanish football federation rules, and Brexit has added to the pressure on the two Madrid teams, which have a slew of South American players.
Although the UK formally left the EU in January 2020, the transition period lasted until December 31, 2018, and the Spanish federation reached an agreement with clubs that allowed British players to continue to play in the EU for the rest of the season.
Bale wasn’t influenced by the transfer since he was on loan at Tottenham. And the deal allowed Kieran Trippier to stay at Atletico and help the team win their first LaLiga title in seven years. The arrangement will not be in place for the coming season, according to a front-page article in Spanish newspaper AS on Saturday, meaning Trippier and Bale will take up one of each club’s three valuable non-EU player spots.
Established South American players such as Luis Suarez of Atletico Madrid, Angel Correa of Real Madrid, and Casemiro of Real Madrid get around the rules by obtaining Spanish citizenship, but Vinicius, Rodrygo, and Militao are still waiting for their applications to be accepted, which takes at least two years.
Atletico Madrid’s Colombian right-back Santiago Arias, who spent last season on loan at Bayer Leverkusen, may have to look for a new club if Diego Simeone’s team manages to hold on to Trippier and fend off Manchester United’s interest.
Real have two more non-EU players in their ranks: Takefusa Kubo of Japan and Reinier of Brazil, both of whom will be sent out on loan and will not be included in their squad for the upcoming season. According to AS, one method for Real to get around the rules is to move striker Rodrygo to Castilla, a reserve team in Spain’s third tier. Rodrygo would be humiliated, but he would still be free to play in the Champions League, which has no restrictions on players from outside the European Union.