The former Madrid boss believes Barcelona’s devotion to their youth system is what gives them the edge over the capital club
Arrigo Sacchi says Real Madrid’s transfer policy is holding them back from achieving success and believes Barcelona have thrived thanks to their productive youth system.
The club lifted the Champions League in 2014, but have won just one league title in over seven years, while Barcelona have won it five times and Atletico Madrid once in the same period.
And Sacchi believes Madrid’s need to spend big on players is damaging their chances of dominating the way their rivals do.
“Madrid have a lot of good players, but getting them to play well together is difficult,” he told AS. “That’s the problem.
“The other day I read that since 2009, Madrid have won fewer trophies than Barcelona, Atletico and Sevilla.
“I don’t know the reason for that. Madrid have good players, but I think president Florentino Perez always signs the best and most famous players. But then they don’t win.
“Barcelona went on a different path. With Pep Guardiola, eight of the XI were from the youth system. They knew the system. They had taken on the concepts since they were children.
“They had an entire youth system working with the system they’d find in the first team. The style of play is leading the project. Now, I wouldn’t say Florentino is wrong, because, in reality, signing the best players in the world is what the fans want.”
Rafael Benitez has since replaced Carlo Ancelotti as Madrid boss, who was sacked just a year after winning the Champions League, and Sacchi believes it shows just how demanding the club are.
“You have to have a great capacity to coach Madrid, you have to be a chameleon. The players you have aren’t always complementary to each other.
“Ancelotti is the best under these circumstances. I don’t think Pep Guardiola could do this in Madrid.
“It’s not easy to make a team from the Madrid players. Not only in terms of their character and the people, but the way they play.
“I can’t say if Benitez has changed things after seeing one game. The system isn’t as important as the style.
“I wasn’t surprised by the change in coach. I spoke to Florentino before the game against Juventus and he wasn’t totally satisfied.
“I think Benitez is an excellent coach for Madrid.”