Gerard Pique says Barcelona's youth system has been crucial to its competitiveness
Gerard Pique believes that Barcelona have only been able to compete with Real Madrid because of their youth system.
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 14/11/12 7:44pm
The defender feels his club does have the spending power of their arch rivals and have only succeeded by promoting players from within.
These include his defensive partner Carles Puyol, midfielders Xavi and Andres Iniesta and forward Lionel Messi, while Pique himself came through the youth ranks with Barcelona before a stint at Manchester United and his return to the club.
"We have had the luck of having everyone coming through the youth ranks," Pique said.
"Barca has always found it difficult to compete with Madrid. In the last few years just how much have Madrid spent?
"At Barca we have had so many players that have risen through the youth teams and have been free.
"If that had not happened then we would not have been in a position to compete for trophies. On an economic level we cannot compete with Madrid."