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It was not casual. He azulgrana model was based on the commitment to the quarry, with already established players such as Xavi, Iniesta or Messi (Argentine, but canterano), promises such as Busquets or Pedro who threw the door down, and recover footballers who had left the farmhouse as Pique or, later, Jordi Alba and Cesc Fabregas.
At Real Madrid was in a hurry to reverse Barça's dominance, and with the arrival of Florentino Pérez in 2009 the megastars arrived. Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká and Benzema were the basis of the project, and then came others of lower profile, but usually foreign players: Di Maria, Özil, Khedira, Carvalho …
In between, some national player like Xabi Alonso, Raúl Albiol or the youth players Arbeloa and Callejón. But always as a complement, not as the basis of the project.
In 2012, the presence azulgrana in the Red one continued being massive. Seven players played the final of the European Championship against Italy (Piqué, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc and Pedro), and that Puyol and Villa lost it due to injury. There were four Madridistas: Iker Casillas, Álvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso.
By then, the style of football in Spain was that of Barça, indisputably. The Xavi, Iniesta and Cesc marked the rhythm, and the feeling was that the white players 'accompanied', not that they were the ones who sent, even being decisive as the case of Iker, to put the most decisive.
The inexorable passage of time caused that, little by little, the golden generation of the Masía was extinguished. Puyol retired, Valdés and Cesc left, and the relief from the quarry did not arrive. The Bojan, Tello, Jeffren, Dos Santos and company did not triumph, and the team progressively filled with foreign stars.
The arrival of Neymar condemned Pedro, who left for Chelsea in the absence of minutes, and Xavi's substitute was Rakitic. The speech 'quarry vs wallet' began to deflate, and Sergi Roberto has been the only player of La Masía that has consolidated in the first team.
In 2016, only five Barça players were in the Euro Cup (Piqué, Bartra, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Iniesta), confirming the weight that the national player was losing in the team, but less presence was still of Real Madrid players: just two (Sergio Ramos and Lucas Vázquez).
The plan of Real Madrid
But White team plan to bet on the national player It was already underway. Isco was increasingly important in the team, had recovered the homegrown Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez, and the signings began to be oriented towards the young national player. Marco Asensio arrived with a crack of the future, Álvaro Morata (who wanted to leave later) and Marcos Llorente returned, Nacho consolidated from the quarry, the promising Ceballos and Odriozola were brought … and the 'megacracks' was over : since 2013, with Bale, you have not bet Real Madrid for one.
On Lopetegui's list for the World Cup the change of trend was already seen. For the first time in many years (since the 2006 World Cup), there were more Real Madrid players than Barça in a major international tournament: six (Carvajal, Ramos, Nacho, Isco, Asensio, Lucas) against four (Piqué, Jordi Alba , Busquets, Iniesta).
And after the defeat of the World Cup, with Hierro betting more or less for the same number of players from both teams, the revolution has arrived. Luis Enrique already warned at the time that there would be surprises, and these came with the number of players culés: only two.
Actually, the list of the new coach does nothing more than reflect a reality, there are no more Spanish players who are standing out at Barça. With the withdrawal of the national team of Iniesta and Piqué, only Busquets, Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba opted to go. The last one has outstanding accounts with Lucho, and the rest of Spaniards (Munir, Rafinha, Denis, Sergi Samper, Aleñá) have only minutes, the call for the Red is too far. Thus, the majority of 'onces' of Valverde account, in the best of cases, with four Spaniards.
While, lThe Real Madrid players are not only many more -6 in this call-but its importance is greater. Ramos is the captain and leader, Carvajal and Isco seem indisputable, Asensio is the emerging star, Nacho has established himself as a replacement for Piqué and Ceballos is one of Luis Enrique's favorites, according to his own words.
What happened against Croatia, with six Real Madrid players in the initial team, was not an accident, but rather something that seems to be repeated often. The trend has changed, and now the Red is nourished by the target and not by Barça. Now we need to check if the results are going to be as good as in the glorious era of the Spanish national team.