Johan Cruyff has slammed the current set-up at Real Madrid by attacking the club’s “personality” and the way the side teach their young players to behave.
The former Barcelona coach believes Los Blancos should look to the Blaugrana when it comes to the example to set to young players, and suggested that Jose Mourinho’s team are not as level-headed as those of the Liga leaders.
“What really annoys me about Madrid today is the personality the club has adopted, the way they teach their young players to be,” he told AS.
“Look at how Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta or [Lionel] Messi behave and you’ll know what I mean. They’re normal, down-to-earth guys.”
Cruyff went on to highlight the reasons behind Barcelona’s impressive recent form, citing the pressure they apply after losing possession as the key to their style on the pitch.
“To know how Barcelona play, look at the team when it doesn’t have the ball,” Cruyff said. “They pressure their opponent right up to the goalkeeper to get the ball back as quickly as possible. The most difficult thing in football is to do the easy things and do them well. That’s the difference between Barca and all the rest.”
Cruyff credits much of this style to former boss Pep Guardiola, and believes that the former midfielder would be able to implement the same system at whichever club he chooses to coach next, provided they allow him the time to do so.
When asked about the future of Guardiola in the game, he said: “He’s too young to stop. He’ll be back, but to do something different. Who knows what. Maybe he’ll manage a national team – that has its pros and cons.
“To adopt Pep’s style of play, you have to train a lot. If he goes to a club, he’ll have to impose his vision and his system on the team. It’ll have to be a club where he can do his job without interference and where his style will be appreciated by the supporters.
“If he wants to be at a new club for four or five years, he’ll need a president who gives him carte blanche to implement his vision.”
The former Ajax star also said he believes Sapin’s national manager Vicente Del Bosque should be awarded the Coach of the Year prize at the Ballon d’Or ceremony early next month.
“For me it has to be Vicente del Bosque for what he’s achieved and the way he has conducted himself,” Cruyff added.