Real Madrid have spent €460M during Pep Guardiola‘s time at Barcelona.
Number of titles they won during this time? 1. And another one on the way.
During Guardiola’s time in charge of Barca, Real have gone through two presidents and three coaches.
Meanwhile, Barca’s outlay on new players was €371M. Number of trophies won: 13 out of a possible 16.
Number of Barcelona’s academy graduates in the starting lineup: 7.
Number of Real Madrid’s academy graduates in the starting lineup: 1 – Iker
Casillas, who came into the squad back in the nineties.
Coincidence? Nope. Barcelona aim to bring in at least 2 academy graduates a year into the first squad, while no such instruction is being followed in Madrid.
It’s all about the system. Barcelona’s greatness is based on a system that runs through the club and allows players to grow organically into greatness.
Explanations and articles about Barca’s great system can be found here:
Anyhow, the conclusion is that it’s better to grow your own players than to invest hundreds of millions on buying them.
If Real Madrid want more stability and to compete with Barcelona without spending millions (even more relevant now, when taxes in Spain have risen) - the club must install a systematic youth development program.
This will provide a more fertile ground to grow their kids under the same principles and style. No need to adopt Barca’s tiki-taka tactics, but the first rule should be playing with the same system throughout the academy.
It will also help the club in the transfer market, as the team would zoom in on only buying players that fit the system, and not blindly following one coach’s caprices. The system will also allow coaches to grow into the manager position from within – no need to to look for a coach who will only change the whole first squad to fit his ideology.
Not to mention that these coaches also cost a lot of money and tend to bring in their own assistants and staff. José Mourinho gets 10 million a year from Real, while the rest of his staff probably costs an additional half of that.
This whole change in the system might not happen during the Mourinho era, but after he will add a few trophies to the team’s name, the club’s hierarchy might be more relaxed and allow the revised youth system form a strong base for the first squad.
It will certainly cost a lot less than €460M, it will be more sustainable and it will bring a lot more trophies than 1.