Mourinho makes sarcastic retort to Cruyff’s criticism over Real’s imported players

2012-08-27 00:00

MADRID — Johan Cruyff’s criticism of Real Madrid’s lack of home-grown players drew a typically sarcastic reaction from Madrid coach Jose Mourinho on Saturday.

Former Barcelona coach Cruyff said earlier in the week that he preferred clubs that produced their own talent, rather than relying on players signed from other clubs.

However, Mourinho was quick to remind the Dutchman that his 1992 European Cup-winning Barcelona team featured four players who had not come through the club’s youth system.

He cited the names of Brazilian striker Romario, Danish playmaker Michael Laudrup, Bulgarian striker Hristo Stoichkov, and Dutch centre-back Ronald Koeman, who were all acquired from other teams.

“The other day, someone said that he preferred clubs who produced their own players to clubs that bought them,” said the Portuguese.

“The same person won the European Cup once and he had four excellent players from his youth training centre: Romario, Laudrup, Stoichkov and Koeman.”

Although Mourinho failed to acknowledge that the other seven members of Barca’s victorious 1992 team had all come through the club’s La Masia academy, he admitted that Madrid had progress to make in that domain.

“The more young players we have, the better it’ll be,” he said.

“The more ‘made in Madrid’ players we have, the better it’ll be.”

Mourinho also pledged that he would not rotate strikers Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema just for the sake of it.

“With Higuain and Benzema, there won’t be rotation for the sake of rotation, that’s for sure,” Mourinho said.

“It could be that the two of them play together, as they did on several occasions last season.

“But if only one of them plays, it will be due to certain criteria.”

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