Taty Castellanos career over the season
The 24-year-old Argentine starred as Girona beat Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid 4-2 – the highlight of an impressive debut season in Spain.
Castellanos is already well travelled, and his career path demonstrates the increasing global reach of City Football Group – the parent company of Premier League champions Manchester City.
City Football Group (CFG) has 13 clubs under its umbrella, with representation in Europe, South America, Asia, the United States and Australia. Castellanos has played for three of those clubs.
This is the story of one player, the global football model he personifies, and what it means for world football.
When Castellanos stunned Real, it was the second time in just over 12 months he had scored four in a match. He had also done so for New York City another CFG club in a 6-0 Major League Soccer win over Real Salt Lake in April 2022.
His emergence in La Liga, though, suggested a talent ready to take the next step.
Having arrived on loan from New York City last July, Castellanos scored only three times before the World Cup break, but hit form as the season went on, finishing among the top 10 scorers in La Liga with 13 goals – behind global stars such as Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann.
Castellanos On an Interview
“Scoring four times against Real Madrid was a great feeling,” Castellanos told on Interview. “When you are in the middle of a game, you are not thinking about goals. You are just thinking, ‘I am playing against one of the biggest clubs in the world.’
“People do recognise me more. I am known as the person who scored four goals against Real Madrid. I am really happy with that.”
Those at the City Football Group were not surprised by the striker’s achievements.
It is six years since Taty Castellanos first came to their attention, when he was struggling to make a senior breakthrough in Chile. CFG signed him and took him to Uruguayan outfit CA Torque, who became the fifth club in its expanding empire in 2017.
After Torque won promotion, he moved to New York City, winning the Golden Boot in 2021 and helping the club win the MLS Cup for the first time.
He initially joined Girona on loan but is not expected back in New York, with a permanent deal potentially on the agenda for this summer.
CFG global football managing director Brian Marwood believes the organisation’s multi-club set-up helps it bring through talent such as Castellanos.
Marwood on interview
“We have always found it quite interesting to sign some of these young talents,” Marwood said. “If you take them on a journey with one of your clubs, you can probably control their development on and off the pitch far greater than just farming them out on loan somewhere.
“Our scouts in South America identified Taty as a player of great potential. He was a young, dynamic, aggressive striker and one we thought, for a minimal investment, could be quite interesting for a number of teams in our group.”
City Football Group was established in 2013, as New York City were formed to compete in Major League Soccer.
Last month, Baiha from Brazil became the 13th club to join the group.
Each club have their own management team but, as Marwood explains, recruitment is a complex process.
“Scouting and recruitment are primarily central functions,” he said. “We have 80 or 90 scouts working across the globe, identifying players for different levels. That is not easy because all our clubs are at a different level. There is a unique skillset associated with that.”
Castellanos was unhappy in Chile when CFG made its approach. He was minded to join Torque, even before an explanation about the wider benefits of the deal were explained to him.
“Five years ago, there weren’t as many clubs as there are now,” he told on interview. “I did primarily go to Torque to get minutes, not knowing what was in store. But I had a really good season and the group made me feel comfortable.”
The influence of Domenec Torrent – an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City – was key to the next move.
“Domenec was coach at New York,” Castellanos said. “He already knew me and my agent and he was the one who got in touch to ask about the possibility of coming to New York.
“Domenec had the link with Pep. To have the chance to learn from him was something I didn’t have any doubts about. MLS is a difficult league to get used to but I had five really nice seasons there.
“I always wanted to challenge myself, and that included going to Europe. I knew about Girona’s project and was very impressed by it. They had just been promoted into La Liga and it was an opportunity to challenge myself in one of the best leagues in the world.