Real Madrid's gamble with the youth.
Real Madrid are one of the most glamorous names in football. The aura and fame that surrounds the Los Blancos is noteworthy, and why not? When you have the biggest names of world football plying their trades simultaneously, glamour is just a by-product! For years now, the hierarchy of the club have stuck to their policy of bringing the star quotient into the club by spending exorbitant amounts of money in an attempt to become a powerhouse in football, and the strategy has brought its fair yield, be it in terms of on field success or in terms of promoting Real Madrid as one of the biggest brands in the world. The Galacticos have never stayed away from the spotlight for long – be it for their success or failure.
Beneath the stardom of these famed Galacticos, suffered the cantera of the club – The club’s policy of buying proven talent to fill the roster left little room for the promotion of the cantera outputs to the first team, leading to a mass exodus of raw talent, who ultimately thrived elsewhere – the more famous names being Roberto Soldado, Juan Mata and Dani Parejo. The little confidence that the administration placed on the youth was evident when Michael Essien was brought on a season long loan, plugging holes in the full back department, instead of trusting Nacho Fernandez – the Castilla graduate.
The move brought about a lot of bad-mouthing within the club and even the media, with Mourinho being accused of undermining the cantera which has churned out a host of stars in the past. In a response to the accusation, the Special One listed a host of names that were given a chance, before shifting the blame upon Castilla Coach Alberto Toril for not being able to aid the progression of his players. In a dead rubber against Osasuna at home, Mourinho took a stance and fielded five players who had come through the ranks. Besides, the ex-tactician seemed to have taken a liking to Alvaro Morata – the lanky center forward was given a handful of chances to showcase his talent, and he did not disappoint either. With the scores tied at 1-1 at Levante, Morata came on with 6 minutes remaining and ensured that Real left with all 3 points by scoring the winner, a testimony to the faith of his manager in his talent.
The small steps taken towards sustainable development last season have turned into giant leaps this summer, with the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti and the inclusion of Zinedine Zidane in the Italian’s coaching staff. The transfer policy of the club this summer has certainly come as a breath of fresh air to both its suitors and the media. Splashing out on young blood, faith in the youth and development of in-house talent are some virtues that people normally do not associate with Real. However, with the club going all out for the purchase of Isco and former Castilla graduate Asier Illaramendi besides the reunion with Daniel Carvajal point towards a youth oriented future at the Bernebeau.