Well fam, it’s official: FIFA has banned Spanish giants Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid from signing players in the next two transfer windows. The sanction comes following the teams’ violation of transfer regulation rules for players under the age of 18 (check here for Article 19 on protection of minors).
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Has Madrid actually received the news of this ban? Was it sent by dubious fax? Was it hand-delivered to Florentino’s office? Did the messenger wait until Flo had opened the handwritten letter before their very eyes? I can neither confirm nor deny.
The ban does not prohibit either clubs from signing players in the current transfer window – they are free to do so if they please – but it does mean that they will not be able to make any additions to their rosters until after the 2016-17 season. Atleti has also been fined $900,000 Swiss francs to Madrid’s $360,000, since the former failed to disclose the number of minors transferred. You’ll recall that Barça recently finished serving a similar sanction, and hey – things went alright for them (ahem, treble anyone?) – so this dire news might just be a blessing in disguise.
The best part of this whole thing? Wait for it – apparently the signing of Lucas Zidane is one of the reasons behind Madrid’s ban. Yes, I kid you not. This totally insane season (which has seen Madrid disqualified from the Copa del Rey in the Denis Cheryshev shitstorm and Rafa fired for Zizou) just got that much more absurd.
Simeone’s squad should be fine given the news of reinforcements Augusto Fernández and Matias Kranevitter. They’re also in the process of contract renewals for young starlets Ángel Correa, José Giménez, Jan Oblak, and even Antoine Griezmann.
Zizou and crew? You know, I honestly think that this is fantastic news for a Madrid side that’s seen a never-ending influx of galáctico signings under Florentino. For the first time in pretty much as long as I can remember, impulse buys won’t leave me clinging onto lost hope that club favorites will manage to keep spots in Madrid’s starting XI. Their depth is also out-of-this-world good, so as counterintuitive as it might sound, bring on the ban.