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Casillas: Barca can’t brag about fielding 11 homegrown players

by Tom Conn | Posted on Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Real Madrid goalkeeper, Iker Casillas feels that clubs should not mix sport and politics, while also stating that Barcelona should not be too boastful about fielding 11 homegrown players, as it wasn’t too long ago they had all foreign players.

t_real_madrid_iker_casillas-5358179In a recent interview with Spanish television station, La Sexta, Casillas discussed a variety of topics, starting with the controversy in Spain surrounding Barcelona and their support of Catalan independence and if he would like to play for a club with close ties to politics.

“I like the club I play for, it’s universal and inclusive. It respects and understands ideologies all over the world and that is where the club’s greatness lies.

“It would be a bad thing for footballers to mix sport with politics, any comment we made could be taken out of context and turned into a national debate via social media. It’s better to seperate the two things.

Casillas was then asked if the locker room of millionaires ever discussed the economic crisis in Spain.

“Of course we talk about the crisis. Being a footballer and someone people recognise on the television does not mean you don’t have friends and family. Iker Casillas has friends, Iker Casillas has a family and Iker Casillas also knows people who are suffering.”

Casillas then concluded by responding to which academy he thinks is better between Barcelona and Real Madrid, and also took a shot at the praise Barcelona has received for fielding a team of all La Masia graduates against Levante several weeks ago.

“Well, there’s this whole thing about Barcelona playing 11 players from their youth system [against Levante]… I remember 11 or 12 years ago when Barcelona played with 11 foreigners.

These things come in cycles, and Barcelona should not boast about the fact that now they have fielded a team of 11 academy players.

The image they want to project is about what they are doing now, but a few years ago, when Puyol and Xavi were starting out, there were barely any academy players in the team.

“Of course I would like to see more people from Madrid playing for the club, but Madrid are such a huge club that all the best players in the world want to play for them, and sometimes the best players come from outside Spain.

Real Madrid’s academy is fantastic, it has created many great players that are now playing all around Spain and all around the world. We have nothing to envy about other teams’ academies.”

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