Andres Iniesta warns Barcelona “can’t change” their approach to young players and urges them “not to rely on a surreal and inflationary market.”
The second part of Iniesta’s interview with El Pais on Sunday focused on Neymar’s €222m departure to Paris Saint-Germain and why the number of youth graduates progressing to Barca’s first team had decreased sharply.
“Lack of youth graduates in the first team? It’s a complex issue because in recent years, we’ve made the exception a norm,” continued the midfielder.
“Playing a Champions League Final with eight or nine youth players, it’s not that Barca don’t do it but rather no-one does.
“Sometimes it gets confused… Because people think it’s easy to achieve, when it’s quite the opposite, very complicated even.
“Still, the club can’t change because if we’re known for something, it’s that we don’t lose faith or trust in our young players, who have been raised here.
“Sometimes it’s better to go with those already at the club and not rely on a market that, lately, has been experiencing huge inflation.
“Has the market gone crazy? It seems that way. Surreal money has been spent, but if they have, it’s because [teams] can afford to…
“Neymar? Everyone’s in charge of their own future and they’re entitled to do what they believe is best for themselves and their family.
“It’s not up for discussion. If I don’t want to be here then I’d go somewhere else.
“I’d have liked him to stay with us for another 10 years, but you must also put yourself in his position.
“I’m in an idyllic situation, I don’t need much more, I’m in my comfort zone. It’s what I’ve chosen and there’s not much else to say.
“How Neymar’s exit affects Barca? Like I said, our idea doesn’t change. We’ll see how this month ends, the people that come in and, with everything finalised, we’ll see the options that we have. Either way, our game is about dominance, balance and being compact.
“Once we stray from these standards, we’ll have suffered a lot. Keeping the ball close? Yes, yes. But it’s not because we want it close, it’s because we suffer less this way.”