One was raised on the Arbourthorne estate. The other honed his skills at Real Madrid.
But when Chris Wilder and Míchel share a glass of Rioja after Friday evenings’s friendly between Sheffield United and Malaga, they will share plenty in common. Not least a desire to think outside the footballing box and prove money is not the only thing which brings success.
“I understand Sheffield United has a very good youth system,” Míchel, the Malaga manager and Real Madrid legend, told The Star. “And that they like a certain type of player.
“We try to look for young players because for us, for the budget and the soul, it is a good thing.
“In Malaga, we try to find a different solution to building a good team. Players who are born in Malaga are fantastic for us because they have that soul.
“To try and take players from the academy is necessary for us. Any team that does that, for me, will see the benefits.”
Míchel, aged 54, made over 400 appearances for Los Merengues after graduating from La Fábrica and, together with Emilio Butragueño, formed part of the Quinta del Buitre which dominated Spainish football throughout the Eighties.
Capped 66 times by his country at senior level, Míchel was a member of the Spainish under-21 team beaten 2-0 by England at Bramall Lane 33 years ago.
“I played a long time ago at Bramall Lane, when I was young,” he continued. “At that moment, for me as a player, is was a surprise.
“I can see the match in my head now.
“The option to play this friendly is, for me, like an illusion. Because I can remember every moment of that match.
“Even though the score was no good for us.”
Malaga, who finished 11th in La Liga last season, are contracted to select a strong starting eleven when they meet Wilder’s squad in Coin tonight.
Míchel, who has also worked in Mexico, Greece and France, said: “For us it is fantastic news, the option to play against Sheffield United. It is a historic team which has been in the Premier League and now they are trying to get there again.
“I enjoy playing teams from outside of Spain, For me, it is a good situation, playing and training in different countries.
“I try to learn the language, the habits and the culture of where I am.
“For me, playing in different countries is a very good situation.
“You learn different things about football.”
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