Platini takes aim at Porto, Braga

UEFA president Michel Platini has criticised Europa League finalists Porto and Braga for their lack of home-grown talent.The Portuguese sides faced each other at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on May 19, with Porto winning UEFA’s second rung continental competition 1-0.

Liga Sagres champion Porto fielded just three Portuguese players in their starting line-up, while six began the match for Braga.

Both teams had a strong South American influence, with 12 players from the continent spread between the two line-ups.

Despite spending five seasons of his career playing for Juventus in Italy, Frenchman Platini is of the opinion that teams would be better served recruiting locals rather than looking outside their borders for new talent.

“I’m in favour of (local) identity,” Platini said.

“If Porto are in Portugal, they should play with Portuguese players instead of buying left, right and centre from other countries.”

“You would think that the young players from Brazil and Argentina would be better playing off in their own championships.”

Platini also criticised foreign ownership of clubs – one of the latest overseas buyouts came with the sale of Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain to the Qatari Investment Authority on May 31.

“I’m not so keen on foreign owners, but they are the laws of England and France, there’s nothing I can do,” Platini said.

“You can have an owner from Qatar, a general manager from Italy, a French coach and players from 25 countries.”

“Football has always been based on identity, regions, countries, so I’m not a great fan of this idea.”