Friday, December 05, 2008


The latest resignation of Real Madrid's youth team director Michel is a sad thing. The debate on who has the best youth system in the football world has been done recently earlier this year and everyone agreed Barcelona have the best in the world right now. Alright, no arguments on that.

Their president, Joan Laporta had commented on it before.

“We have the best youth system and the best facilities for young players in the world and I am very proud of the club’s youth policies.”

“More than fifty percent of our current first team is formed by home-grown players. We are used as a reference by the rest of the football community and clubs around the world pay attention to how we operate the cantera.”

Just make a comparison of some of the recent crop of players coming from the youth system. Eventhough Real Madrid exported out a lot, there are many who are still unknown today. Maybe someday when all of them have matured and peaked, we will know who is/are the best among the peers.

One thing I do agree is the lack of chances the youth players have in the club. It is a sad fact and I really hope the best among the best are given more chances especially after they have proven themselves at the lower league from the La Liga.

Let us look at the list of players we know from Barcelona:
Cesc Fábregas, Fran Mérida, Iago Falqué, Gerard Piqué, Lionel Messi, Bojan Krkic, Giovani Dos Santos, Sergio Busquets, Víctor Sánchez, Pedro. Much older generation players include Guardiola, De la Peña, Victor Valdes, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta.

Let us look at the list of players we know from Real Madrid:
Miguel Torres, Rubén De la Red, Nieto, Alberto Bueno, Roberto Soldado, Javier Portillo, Riki, Mista, Luis García, Álvaro Negredo, Javi Guerrero, Víctor, Juan Mata, Esteban Granero, Alvaro Arbeloa, Samuel Eto'o. Much older generation players include Raul, Guti, Casillas.

Of course, we must not forget another good youth system elsewhere in Europe. Ajax Amsterdam had created world-class youth in Van der Sar, Boulahrouz, Ooijer, Heitinga, Sneijder and Van der Vaart too. Any other youth system worth mentioning and players I have left out? No, Arsenal don't qualify because they buy other people's youths. I am talking about origin here.


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