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Real Madrid had a lucky escape, according to their director general...

Jorge Valdano insists that he has been proved right about Gabriel Milito's physical state after being criticised six years ago for not signing him for Real Madrid.

Los Merengues' director general was the club's sporting director when he rejected the opportunity to sign his compatriot having seen the results of the player's medical.

Real Zaragoza and Milito himself were stunned by the U-turn as they claimed that there was nothing wrong with the defender's knee, a problem with which was cited by Valdano as the reason for not signing him.

Barcelona went on to capture the centre-back when they paid €20 million for his services in 2007 and he impressed during his first season at Camp Nou.

At the end of that first campaign though, Milito suffered an injury to his right knee that required tissue from his left one and that saw him miss the entire 2008-09 season.

Still recovering from that problem more than 15 months later, Milito has now seen Valdano state that the injury proves he was right to not sign the player for Real Madrid.

"People demanded answers about Milito, who was an interesting player in technical terms. But over time, the reasons I gave have proven correct," the Bernabeu director told DPA.

Lucas Brown, Goal.com

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