Vilanova: Winning with Barcelona academy stars more rewarding

The Catalan giants' ability to produce talent is important for the club, but Vilanova said that fielding so many homegrown players is not by design but because of merit.
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has admitted that his side could field 11 academy players at will, and divulged that winning silverware with their own crop of talent is very rewarding.

During the Blaugrana's win over Valencia, Vilanova fielded 1 homegrown players on the field at one time, which is considered a tremendous feat for such a major club.

"It's not like a title; it was not a target," Vilanova told AS. "We could have fielded 11 academy players earlier if we had wanted to, but it was a situation that happened because of injury. I didn't even think about it [beforehand]. It's a credit to the club and all the coaches here."

Despite the club's academy success, Vilanova insisted that winning silverware takes priority over developing Barcelona's rising talents, and such homegrown players would not feature if they did not benefit the team.

"I think it's more of a success to win titles and Champions Leagues with seven or eight academy players, like Barcelona have done in recent years," Vilanova reasoned. "We play them because we trained them and because they're good. If we weren't winning, it wouldn't be worth including them.

"If other teams don't play them, it's because they believe they wouldn't have such a good chance to win."

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