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The former Argentina international has hailed the former Barcelona coach's influence at the club, and added that youth players no longer play an important role at Real Madrid

Former Real Madrid director Jorge Valdano has voiced his admiration for Pep Guardiola, and has hailed the successful coach's innovative approach at Barcelona.

The 41-year-old guided the Blaugrana to a number of trophies during his four-year spell in charge at Camp Nou, and the Argentine has nothing but praise for his footballing philosophy.

"Guardiola did a fantastic job. He is the Steve Jobs of football: experimental, brave, a lover of beauty, and innovative. He is an important point of reference in the footballing world, and rightly so," he told Eurosport.

"Barca have turned their football into a culture and everything that the youngsters learn at La Masia is then applied at the Camp Nou."

Valdano then went on to discuss Real Madrid's youth policy, and stressed that academy players are no longer as important as they used to be at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"In Real Madrid's history, the youth system has been essential, but times have changed. There seems to be some truth in the idea that for the youth system to play an important part, it's better to be poor than rich."

Valdano left Real Madrid in May 2011 after a conflict with Jose Mourinho.

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