Sir Alex Ferguson may still have been licking his wounds after his side were outclassed by Barcelona in Saturday's Champions League final, but the veteran manager made a pertinent point about the way elite youngsters are coached in England compared with Spain.
"We are only allowed to coach youngsters for an hour-and-a-half but they (Barcelona) can coach every hour of the day if they want to," explained Ferguson. "That's the great advantage they've got and they have a fantastic philosophy. We hope that in years to come our coaches will be able to spend more time with young kids, to teach them the basics, the technical abilities and the confidence to keep the ball all the time."
Barça's Cruyff-inspired end result was clear to see at Wembley as the Catalans lifted their third European Cup in six years.
Historically, United have not been shy at giving youth a chance either. Since the war, United have given first team debuts to 42 players aged 17 or younger, yet at Wembley on Saturday night only Ryan Giggs was at the club at 15, compared to eight of Barça's starting XI.
There are inevitable generational shifts and United's class of '92 contained a strong home grown influence, but a repeat is less likely in England than Spain.
Spain's disorganised football association should not take the credit, but clubs like Barca and Villarreal who have used their initiative.
Young players live at their training grounds from the age of 12 and watch their heroes every day from their dormitories. They are given clear educational aims to achieve so that they become grounded, yet worldly young men.
The result is players who are willing to adapt. They are told that while the first team is the dream, the odds are stacked against them. So they become prepared to play elsewhere from an early age.
One Barça player who found himself playing in Scotland's SPL asked the predominantly Scottish dressing room if they'd like to play abroad. He was met by blank looks from players who'd never considered a career outside of their small football market.
Thirty Spaniards are contracted to clubs in England's top two tiers from Fabregas at Arsenal or Fernando Torres at Chelsea to Pablo Counahgo at Crystal Palace or the four Spaniards who helped Swansea City reach the Premier League. There's not a single Englishman in Spain's top two divisions.
By the age of 16, the hours on the training ground mean that a youngster at Barca, Villarreal or Espanyol will have attained a technical level higher than an English equivalent. And don't the scouts at the big English clubs know it.
There have been several examples of big English clubs poaching 16-year-olds from Barça's Masia youth academy. Manchester United snared Gerard Pique in 2004, while Arsenal took Cesc Fabregas. More recently, Arsenal circumnavigated the rules - if not the Catalans' ethical code - to sign Jon Toral.
English giants have a persuasive technique. They say that the player has a better chance of first team football sooner if they sign and would point to the success of Fabregas. They can also offer cold, hard, cash.
Arsenal will pay Toral a reported €300,000 a year — thirty times the standard wage Barca pay their contracted youth players. He'll also get free housing, education and flights for his family.
Barca will get compensation, but it's chicken feed compared to the ultimate likely value of the player.
Then again, it is not a guaranteed investment - there is a high failure rate for prodigious 16-year-old prospects. Arsenal also tried to tempt fellow Barca youngsters Sergi Samper and goalkeeper Pol Ballesté, through they rejected the lucrative offers from London. You don't hear stories of Barça poaching the talents from Arsenal or United.
By 18, the development of reserve players at Barça is boosted by playing in a competitive Segunda Division against tough, experienced opponents like Celta Vigo or Real Betis. They play in front of big crowds and learn to deal with the media.
It gives them a distinct advantage over reserve players in England who play fewer, less competitive games in front of sparse crowds. The gap between reserve team football and the first team is smaller and Barca's track record of promotion is peerless.
Spain is now a nation of technically gifted footballers. At the top level, Spain are good enough to be the reigning European and World Champions, but Spain excels beyond the elite tier. The World Cup win boosted the stock of Spanish football immeasurably and 139 Spaniards now make their living around the world.
It's still well short of the 3,000 Brazilians playing globally, but the number of Spaniards playing abroad has doubled in the last two years, their Diaspora now stretching from Argentina to Japan, Russia to the United Arab Emirates (Fran Yeste) and Qatar (Gabri).
There are other big name Spanish players in surprising locations, like Guti at Besiktas or Raul, who is loving life at Schalke 04. These are high profile former internationals in the final chapters of their careers, looking for a new, well-remunerated, experience.
Another type of footballer leaves Spain for pastures new where the grass is greener financially. Those in England's second tier earn between £3,000-£10,000 a week — three times what they would expect to earn in the Spanish equivalent. They often find that they are technically superior to their English counterparts and that they excel.
I watched a Spanish third division play-off game last week in Sabadell near Barcelona. Not all of Catalonia like Barça — and they positively dislike "Bar$a" in Sabadell for commercialism and hoovering up fans — but 12,500 watched a game of football where the technical level on display was outstanding.
Many of the players had been at bigger clubs as kids and all those hours of training paid off. Just as they could if the kids of England were allowed to train for more than 90 minutes a day.