Croydon’s next great footballer could be snapped up by Real Madrid rather than Crystal Palace after the Spanish side opened a soccer school near Lloyd Park earlier this week.

Blancos legend Emilio Butragueno, who played for the club in the 1980s and 1990s, opened the facility at the Cedars School, near Lloyd Park on Wednesday, March 22.

Read more: Will the next Cristiano Ronaldo be found? Real Madrid to open soccer school near Lloyd Park in Croydon

The school will be the first of its kind in the UK to be run by the real Madrid Foundation, which operates similar institutions across the globe.

It aims to support children in south London aged between six and 11 by offering activities to develop their skills in sport and social integration.

Real Madrid are one of the most successful clubs in Europe having won the Champions League a record 11 times.