‘Real Madrid not to blame for my exit’

Esteban Granero says Real Madrid’s youth system was not to blame for his exit from the club.

Granero [pictured, left] joined Queens Park Rangers before the start of this season and, in an interview with Guillem Balague for Sky Sports, he maintained he has no axe to grind with anybody at Madrid for the way the club’s youth academy is run.

 “To play in Real Madrid’s first team you must be one of the best players in the world. That is not a bad thing because that’s how it is.

“If you are a youngster that comes through at a club that is inferior then it is a lot easier, but in Madrid it’s more difficult.

“That does not mean the youth team is not good. It means that Real Madrid is the best team in the world to play for, so if it was easy it would mean the team is not so great and not so good.”

The 25-year-old, who started his career with Los Blancos and had a spell with Getafe before returning in July 2009, said he learnt how to play football with the Spanish champions.

“Real Madrid’s youth system turns you into a good player because you can use all your talents. They encourage a winning mentality to enable you to become a member of the first team. That feeds your ambition a lot.”

He was also asked if there was a misconception that Barcelona’s youth policy is better than that at Madrid, and whether players had to move away from Spain to make their mark.

“Of course Madrid would like more home-grown players in the first team, but you have to be one of the best around to get in there and sometimes players make it and others don’t.

“If you are not good enough then you may need to find your way abroad. If you are good enough and can play at that level, then perfect.

“If not, you can look abroad and maybe come back. The important thing is how Madrid has helped young players to reach the first team, such as [Iker] Casillas and [Alvaro] Arbeloa.

“There are also those that are no longer there like myself and Juan Mata. That’s not Real Madrid’s fault,” he claimed.

Tags Granero Queens Park Rangers