Real Madrid are the world’s most iconic soccer club. Around the world they are revered for their brand of success and swashbuckling football, but for every trophy they win a terrible mistake is just around the corner. The Galaticos philosophy of buying the best and biggest carries it’s pitfalls because those price tags don’t go unnoticed. All of this comes down to one man – president Florentino Perez.
Arguably the best businessman in Spain, Perez is renowned for being the worst president in all of soccer. He makes huge decisions based on nothing more than a whim, wastes millions of dollars on flops, changes his mind on coaches more than his underwear and continues to put the club in a position of uncertainty due to his actions.
While the club has the greatest value of any club in the world with a market price of $3.4 billion, they also happen to have the greatest debt at $750 million. This is fairly academic given their huge turnover and financial muscle, but bubbles are meant to be burst.
The recent firing of Rafa Benitez is the latest decision by Florentino Perez in a string of bizarre choices. He hired the manager in the off season knowing his reputation and past history, only to send him packing a few months later. Did he have an experienced coach to fill the void? Oh no, enter legendary player Zinedine Zidane – one of the best playmakers of his generation but a man with no experience at the top level of actually being a coach.
The Spanish press and Madrid fans tolerate Perez’s remarkable incompetence as normal behavior. Neither see him as the right man to lead the club, but his promises of shiny new expensive players usually wins him enough favor to stay in the gig. Mistakes continue to be made and in that spirit, these are 15 crisis’ Real Madrid inflicted on themselves, largely in part to Mr. Perez.
13 Firing Vicente del Bosque
12 Selling Claude Makelele
11 Passing On Ronaldinho For Beckham
10 Endless Flops Bought Expensively
9 Selling Dutch Duo Sneijder and Robben
8 Allowing Mourinho To Play Negative Football
7 Creating An Environment of Player Power
If you only watch the matches or quickly skim the headlines of the news, you would be under the impression the players were complete professionals who were 100% behind the manager at all times. How wrong you would be. Player power is at it’s strongest at Real Madrid where senior members like Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Karim Benzema wield their influence on the remainder of the squad. They know the owner Florentino Perez has their back and the coach is under pressure to pick them, so they make that leverage count behind the scenes. It’s not a healthy dynamic.
6 Signing Kaka
5 No Succession Plan For Iker Casillas
4 Selling Mesut Ozil
3 Selling Gonzalo Higuain
2 Failing To Sign David de Gea
1 Feeding Ronaldo’s Ego
Why does he do this to himself? Rafa Benitez is exactly the same coach as he ever was, giving the media polite platitudes, being distant from the playing group and organizing a tight defense. All but one of those came true as the shape of the side looked leaky at the back. He felt an odd fit to begin with so the fact it all ended in tears is not the fault of Benitez but the club and most importantly – Florentino Perez.
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