Complimenting Barcelona makes you a traitor at Real Madrid, says Valdano

The former Blancos director points out the differences in culture between his former club and the Blaugrana, but admits the Catalans have impressed him with their philosophy
Jorge Valdano has claimed that speaking highly of Barcelona while being associated to Real Madrid is considered an act of treason at the club.

The former Argentina international formerly held the position of trainer and director of the Spanish champions as he was president Florentino Perez's right-hand man in two separate stints, before current coach Jose Mourinho forced him out of the picture.

Now unemployed, he reflected on his time at the Santiago Bernabeu and compared the footballing philosophies of both Madrid and Barca, before adding that even the slight mention of his former employers' arch-rivals in a positive light was frowned upon.

"Complimenting Barcelona makes you a traitor in Madrid," Valdano told TV show Despertate de Una Vez.

"Real Madrid are a team who are tremendously competitive. They do not develop in the same way as Barcelona because their players must entertain the fans.

"Since I started watching football, I have seen nothing like Barcelona, who have always possessed talent and will always play the same way. They have enjoyed a lot of continuity but also a high level of pragmatism.   

"Barcelona are the product of their youth teams. Players who have progressed through their ranks easily adapt to the Barca style.

"Real Madrid are different. Their youth academy has not just produced players for the club, but for the entire footballing community.

"There are over 100 players playing in the first and second divisions in Spain who were nurtured by Real Madrid."

However, despite his acrimonious departure from Real, Valdano bore no grudges to the side and praised boss Mourinho for his enviable track record as a winner throughout his managerial career.

"They have unlimited power in terms of their squad, with strength throughout the team," he continued.

"Mourinho is a pragmatist who has a great relationship with success."

On the topic of Lionel Messi, Valdano said of his countryman: "We thought it was impossible to find someone comparable to Maradona, but Messi gives us hope."