Chadi Riad was born on the 17th of June, 2003, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. He started playing football at a local team – Atlético Rafal, at the age of 6. A few years later, he was snatched by famous RCD Mallorca’s academy in 2011. In total, he spent 6 seasons there while also spending 1 season at CD San Francisco. Eventually, in 2019 Barcelona beat Villarreal to his signing, with Chadi Riad joining the Juvenil B side. Barcelona agreed with a player earlier that year that he would join the club in the summer of 2019. However, Mallorca were unhappy about him agreeing to a deal in the middle of the season and decided not to call him up for games but he remained in the team’s dynamics.
In the 2020/2021 season, he was loaned out to Sabadell, and soon enough, he started training with their first team. While also playing for their U19 team, he played 17 games, of which 16 he was a starter, scoring a single goal. On the 1st of November, he made his La Liga Smartbank debut for Sabadell’s first team against CD Lugo, where he came on as a substitute in the 85th minute. And on the 16th of December, he made his Copa del Rey debut, this time as a starter against CD Ibiza.
After returning from his loan, he quickly established himself as one of the best centre-backs of Juvenil A. Playing a pivotal role in Juvenil A’s double as they won the league and became Spanish Champions. That same season he played 3010 minutes, scoring 4 goals and picking up 2 assists. On the 5th of July 2022, he renewed his contract until 2024, with an optional year and got promoted to Barça Atlètic. Chadi even started pre-season with the first team alongside his teammate Marc Casado. And already, at the start of the season for Barça Atlètic, he is showing at Barcelona’s subsidiary what a talented player he is.
Despite being born in Spain, Chadi decided to represent his parents’ country of origin – Morocco, from an early age. Furthermore, he was part of Morocco’s U15 side, which won the Youth African Games. His excellent performances for Juvenil A, earned him a call-up to Morroco U20, where he debuted in a friendly game against Romania U21 and scored a header in the 73rd minute of the game.
Similar player: Ronald Araújo
Chadi Riad is a left-footed centre-back, who is physically strong and athletic. Chadi has a good physique while not losing his acceleration, agility and coordination. While being compared to Araujo, his ball distribution is much better than that of the Uruguayan. Chadi tends to break the first line of the defence with his passing while also not being shy with long passes. Furthermore, the Morrocan defender is an absolute powerhouse in the air, as he rarely loses an aerial duel.
Thanks to his heading and jumping ability, he’s a very dangerous player in the opponents’ box, especially during corners. This can be witnessed with the number of goals he scored in La Masia. He even scored a header in the dying minutes of the match against Castellon. Which, by the way, was the first game of the 22/23 season. Chadi has an incredible defensive ability.
Being a great tackler and interceptor, he uses his speed to stop most of the counter-attacks and tends to win most of his duels with decent positioning, excellent timing and strength. Even when it comes to playing with the ball under his feet, he looks composed and usually looks calm under pressure. However, he still can improve a single part of his game as, in some situations, he tends to clear the ball out of play rather than look for a pass. But since the season started, he looked much more comfortable in this aspect.
Future at the club
Chadi Riad has the talent and maturity to be a centre-back for Barcelona’s first team, however, it will all depend on possibilities. With the injuries to Kounde and Araujo will Chadi have his first chance with the first team? Possibly. He is an excellent centre-back who could play for any top 5 league club in the future, even if he does not make it at FC Barcelona.
Potential Rating: 9/10