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The retired Argentine defender has heralded the Catalan giants' homegrown contingent, and feels recent glory stems from the men who studied their football at La Masia

Former Barcelona defender Gabriel Milito has conceded that the Blaugrana's recent success is down to the homegrown Catalan players.

The now-retired Argentine centre-half was part of the Barca squad between 2007 and 2011, winning two Champions League crowns and three Liga titles.

However, the South American has stated that the players who graduated from La Masia were, and are, the side’s heartbeat.

“The fact that we won so many titles says a lot for the make-up of the team, especially the guys from here, the Catalans, who educate outsiders,” he told Mundo Deportivo.

 “Without them it would have been more difficult.”

The 31-year-old went on to praise Pep Guardiola, Tito Vilanova and Andres Iniesta as the three key figures who make Barca tick.

“Guardiola was the technician and the key to success in recent years. However, the appointment of Vilanova is a good one, and the team will continue playing the same way.

“The big players in Argentina have been aware of the profile of Andres Iniesta; players like Andres only come about once in a while," he concluded.

Milito made 75 competitive appearances for the Camp Nou outfit, scoring twice.

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