Mourinho: Youngsters are paying for Castilla's different formation

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has defended his unwillingness to promote players from Castilla, the club’s B team, citing a difference in tactics between the two sides.

The Spanish champions are currently enduring an injury crisis at left-back, but the Portuguese coach has opted to use midfielder Michael Essien as a makeshift defender rather than Nacho, who came through the ranks at the Bernebeu.

“We play with a different system, they have another model,” he told reporters.

“There are Castilla players that play in positions that do not exist in the first team, like Jese [Rodriguez] who plays as a ‘nine and a half’.

“Also, our wide players play further forward, and in Castilla they play a 4-4-2. There is limited common ground in terms of the style of play, and the kids are the ones who end up paying the price.”

Mourinho has however, called up three youngsters, Jose Rodriguez, Alex and Ruben Yanez to the squad to face Alcoyano in Copa Del Rey on Wendesday, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil rested.

Mourinho: Real Madrid respect Alcoyano

Jose Mourinho insists Real Madrid will not underestimate Alcoyano in the first-leg of their Copa del Rey round of 32 encounter on Wednesday evening.

The Blancos will be without first team regulars such as Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Portuguese coach has stressed this does not mean they are taking the match lightly.

“All the competitions and all the games are important. We’re going to Alcoy to play against a team that hasn’t been at the top of football for a time, but we respect them and we know about the game’s difficulty,” Mourinho stated at a press conference.

“We respect Alcoyano and the competition, that’s the first thing. Last year we got to quarter-finals and before that we won it.

“If we come home with an open result or a small step toward classifying, that’s not bad. We won’t have it easy tomorrow.”

Wednesday’s game kicks off at 22:00CET.

I value Jose Mourinho's opinion of Nacho, says Real Madrid's Pardeza

Real Madrid sporting director Miguel Pardeza has spoken up in defence of Jose Mourinho, suggesting that Castilla’s coach Alberto Toril could be endangering the quality of the first-team squad in the future.

Pardeza believes that Mourinho must be listened to if players from the youth squad are to progress into the starting XI in the future, with young defender Nacho being the current player in question.

“In the case of Nacho, there is a technical problem,” admitted the director, speaking to Marca.

“Our coach knows the players of the Castilla well and considers the development of Nacho is to play wide. He believes it is best for the player if he is to play in the footballing elite.

“The coach, Mourinho, has passed on his thoughts to Toril. And the important thing for the first team is the opinion of our coach.”

Pardeza also spoke positively of Cristiano Ronaldo’s prolific start to the season, as Los Blancos‘ bid to catch up with league leaders Barcelona.

“Cristiano does more than give us victories and score goals. He is a real guarantee. Sometimes they are machines and we are people. But I see a very happy Cristiano and he’s scoring goals,” he said.

Ronaldo never answers rudeness with rudeness, says Jose Mourinho

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho believes that while it is possible to criticise Cristiano Ronaldo for some of his past reactions, the winger generally conducts himself well despite being heckled by opposing fans often.

Ronaldo was repeatedly called ‘Barbie’ by the home crowd as Madrid strolled to a 5-0 victory at Mallorca on Sunday, and the hugely-successful trainer has leapt to his defence.

“Insults aimed at Ronaldo? I don’t think what I say will change anything,” conceded the Portuguese coach.

“It is not easy for a player to be insulted every game they play. You can criticise some of their reactions, when he says to the public to continue or discontinue the hostility. But I’ve never seen Ronaldo answer rudeness with rudeness.”

After recent accusations that Mourinho has disrupted the youth development at Real and caused a rift with youth coach Alberto Toril, the 49-year-old tactician was keen to dismiss such claims, although he admits there is a big difference between the Castilla side and the first team.

“My relationship with Toril is normal. I do my work with the first team, he works with the second team, in this case.

“I have three players that he can use when he wants, and I can when I want. I think it is positive for us both if we have good quality players, and it’s good for me that players can play for the Castilla if they don’t get minutes here [in the first team].

“The collaboration between us both is positive, but he has his autonomy. They have a different system to us, they have a distinct model. They have players who play in positions which do not exist here. We don’t play 4-4-2.

“I respect his autonomy, just as he does mine. There is not a problem,” he said.

Messi reveals who he will vote for in this year's Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi believes that two of his Barcelona team-mates will receive his vote for the Ballon d’Or this year, and also claims that a couple of Real Madrid players should be considered for the honour.

The brilliant 25-year-old has already won the award three times, becoming only the fourth player to ever do so in the history of the game, but conceded that he will have to face a year without the trophy at some point.

“Do I think about it [the Ballon d’Or]? No!” admitted Messi, speaking to Marca.

“When the time comes, it may be different… I’ve been fortunate to receive the award three times, it’s massive, unbelievable. But I’m going to come to a year where I will not win it.”

“My playing style has always been the same. I have never looked for it, but it has been like that since I was small. One thing for sure is that I learned a lot in youth football.”

“Here [at Barcelona] we work in a different way with the ball and the tactical system. I came from Argentina where we did not do anything like that, everything was about running and not much else.

Messi was keen to share his thoughts on other potential suitors for the award, and his praise wasn’t reserved for only his domestic and international team-mates.

“I do not know who is on the shortlist. I will vote for Xavi, Andres [Iniesta] and definitely one of my countrymen.

“I think it could be [Iker] Casillas’ Ballon d’Or, he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and also Cristiano [Ronaldo].

“When something happens, the press look to compare us. We are rivals on the field, nothing more. They look around ourselves to compete. It’s tiring me a bit,” conceded the Argentine.