Today the Atlético squad will welcome a new face on the training ground. Not a new signing or a promoted canterano, but Iván Ruiz, the winner of ‘Football Cracks’.
A crack is the nickname for a young and exciting player in Spanish.
Football Cracks is a reality television programme in which young football players from around the world get the chance to win a trial with a professional football club. After six weeks of hard work alongside Zinedine Zidane and Enzo Francescoli, Iván Ruiz proved to be the best out of the seventeen players involved, and will join Atlético Madrid B for the rest of their pre-season.
The show format will be familiar to most people, with an English version airing a few seasons ago. In ‘Football’s Next Star’, it was a 6 month contract with Jose Mourinho’s Internazionale up for grabs, eventually being won by 17-year old Ben Greenhalgh.
Iván Ruiz is a 19-year old midfielder who previously played for UD Los Barrios and Cádiz. He is currently without a club and hoped to earn a professional contract by participating in Football Cracks, maybe even at Atleti.
Iván Ruiz joins our first team today and will train with the team until 28 August. He will first train with the first team exclusively, before alternating between Quique’s selection and other teams in our cantera.
Update 3 August: Ruiz won’t join the first team
The club’s official website today reports that Iván Ruiz will join Atlético B for the coming weeks. There is no mention of the crack joining Atleti’s first team.
Ruiz’ confirmed that his goal is to stay with Atlético B:
“When I entered the training complex I realized how fortunate I am to end up here. Now my goal is to stay with Atlético B. I’m sure that if I prepare well physically, I’ll be able to keep up.”
“The teammates have received me very well, I felt comfortable on my first day here at Atlético.”