legend hits out at premier league

Dutch legend Cruyff blasts English foreign policy

May 19, 2009
By Soccernet staff

Johan Cruyff has hit out at the English Premier League, claiming that the domination of the Champions League is because the clubs rely on foreign players.

Empics / AdamDavyCruyff: Not a fan of foreign players.. ironically.

The Dutch legend, who played and managed Barcelona, has backed the '6+5 rule' and hinted that the England football team's failure is because of an over-reliance on foreigners.

"However much English teams reach finals or semi-finals, I'm sorry, I do not buy it. And I don't buy it because of the players they have out on the pitch, rather than because of the style they adopt," he wrote in his weekly column in El Periodico.

"The vast majority of them have been brought in from abroad. There are very, very few Englishmen playing in the big English clubs.

"You only have to look at the Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United squads to realise that.

"The English national team - missing out on the last European championships - and football in general suffers as a result of them signing so many foreign players.

"Doing this weakens the competition because it is impossible for every player they sign to play."

Cruyff also pointed out that Manchester United's Champions League opponents Barcelona could field up to eight homegrown players in that final, while United's total is likely to be two or three at the most.

"The national teams would be improved, players would be more committed to the clubs where they have grown up and fans would feel more identified with their team,'' he said. ''And, as a consequence, you'd also stop the trafficking of children - thousands of footballing hopefuls taken from poor countries of whom only a tiny proportion make it. The rest? Where are they now, what is their life like?"