While it didn’t exactly go the way they had hoped, Atlético Madrid canteranos Javi Manquillo and Pedro Martín made their official debuts in red and white in Thursday’s embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Segunda División B side Albacete.
17-year-old Manquillo, who started at right back having never played for Atleti’s B team, was thrilled upon learning he had been included in the fold during a pre-game meeting.
“I found out when [Manzano] announced the starting eleven and the truth is I felt immense joy,” Manquillo told Atleti’s official site on Friday.
“At first I was a little nervous, but later on I felt better. The truth is the match got complicated for us and it was a bit strange.
“We have to take advantage of the minutes the coach hands us, like Koke, Pulido and Joel do.”
Manquillo continued: “It was a very special match for the both of us because we were premiering with the first team in official competition.
“We have to thank the coach for having faith in us.”
Atlético B striker and leading scorer Pedro, a standout with the first team in pre-season, came on to replace Pizzi in the 69th minute when los Rojiblancos were down 2-0.
“Both Javi and I are very happy but also a bit sad because we could not debut with a victory,” he said.
“I came out to warm-up with all the enthusiasm in the world, and when I took to the playing field I didn’t think about it being my official debut with the first team but, rather, that we had to make a comeback in the game.
“I’m also very happy for having premiered and I thank the coach for placing his trust in us.”
Manquillo currently stars for the Atlético Madrid Juvenil D.H. squad, who lead their division with an undefeated record of 12 victories and two draws in the current campaign.
“The truth is I’m very happy with how things are going for me this season,” Javi said.
“My team is doing well in the league, I have been called up by the national team and now I skipped two levels to play with the first team.
“It’s a huge joy.”
19-year-old Pedro already has his sights set on his next match with the reserves.
“Now, I have to work hard with my team and focus on the match against Rayo B on Sunday.”
Did you like what you saw out of our youngsters on Thursday?