The president of Spain’s La Liga says England suffered at the World Cup because there are too many young foreigners in the Premiership.
José Luis Astiazarán has questioned the number of young foreign players at Premier League clubs and said the principal reason Spain have reached Sunday’s final against Holland is that “77.1%” of footballers in their domestic league are Spanish-qualified, a direct result of home-grown players being given the opportunity in their clubs’ first teams. In the Premier League fewer than 40% of players are English.
“In La Liga there are 77.1% Spanish players, 16.7% European and 6.7% non-European,” Astiazarán said. “Our strategy is to work very hard with young home-grown players and to try to have a mix between them and experienced players. Why is it not a high number of foreign players in La Liga? Because we invest more and more in young Spanish players than in young foreign players. England has many times taken young players from outside who are 14, 16 years old. These kind of players are not English. This is one of the most important differences between Spain and England. We invest in young Spanish players. In Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United there are a lot of young Spanish, French and Italian players – maybe this is why at the moment you are not creating young English players. These [young foreign] players cannot play for the English national team. It’s good to have goalkeepers from outside. But how many English goalkeepers are in the Premier League?”