Former Real Madrid player Paco Pavon has spoken up in defence of Real Madrid’s cantera, saying it is the best in Spain and always produces players.
The capital side’s youth policy is currently up for debate in Spain, in light of Jose Mourinho’s reluctance to pick players from the Castilla side for his first team and his criticism of how Alberto Toril is coaching the youngsters.
“The cantera is on everyone’s lips, I think it has always been the best in Spain and one of the best in Europe that always produces players, either for Real Madrid or for other teams,” reflected the former Real youth player [pictured top row, centre], who made over 100 appearances for the senior team between 2001 and 2007.
“The cantera has succeeded in the past, Negredo and Soldado are succeeding, but it is difficult to make the leap from the youth side to the first team, but there is Iker Casillas. I think the debate has been taken out of context.
“The current cantera players are ready to be in the first team, they are having a great season, there are some very good players.
“The thing is that people want them to do well and to succeed in the first team, but that is very difficult.”
In this instance, Pavon sides with Jose Mourinho’s lack of faith in them.
“Right now, Madrid are in a moment when they need titles, Mourinho was signed for that purpose and is achieving that and when you reach your objective the debate is settled.
“It must be based on what the Coach deems as most suitable. He also arrived at a time when Barcelona were winning everything, we were in some difficulty and we signed him.”
Pavon took time to also respond to Andoni Zubizarreta’s assertion that Real were not as brave as Barcelona when it came to using their youth players.
“I think it has nothing to do with being brave, it is about necessity. In July you plan out the team, the homegrown players participate then, but they use them in the season when they have injuries, when they should be otherwise prepared to fill those gaps.”