We all remember the “Galácticos” era with joy. I´m a Barcelona admirer myself but in those days Real Madrid had the team. Florentino Pérez was elected in 2000 as club president and started the policy of bringing the best players to his team. Luis Figo (56 million euros)* and Zinedine Zidane (66 million euros)* arrived and both transfers broke world records. But the team already had stars at their disposal: Raul, Roberto Carlos, and a young Iker Casillas; there were also high calibre names but less mediatic in Morientes, McManaman, Fernando Hierro and hard working players such as Iván Helguera, Michel Salgado and Claude Makelele.
Figo won the Fifa world player of the year award in 2001 and then Zidane won it two years later in 2003. Ronaldo also won the award in 2002 but was at Inter Milan at the time and would eventually arrive to Madrid in the same year. All of this players formed the backbone of the team in the beginning of the “Galácticos” era (2000-2003) and won 2 league titles and a Champions League.
In 2003 however, team captain Fernando Hierro and manager Vicente del Bosque were released just after winnning the league. It went all downhill from there on: Five coaches danced around the manager´s office in the next three years in which Real Madrid failed to win a single title. Players such as David Beckham, Michael Owen, Thomas Gravesen and then Julio Baptista, Robinho and Sergio Ramos (the first big signing in defense since Roberto Carlos), among others, arrived but it din´t make a difference. The tendency of putting stars in the field and not caring much for the balance of the team took its toll and Florentino Pérez resigned in 2006.
Nevertheless, Florentino Pérez won again the presidency of the club in 2009. He hired Manuel Pellegrini as coach and broke again the record in a transfer by paying 96 million euros* for Cristiano Ronaldo; in the same year Kaká was also brough in for a fee of 65 million euros*. Pellegrini lasted less than a year in his tenure and the season was a failure, no titles.
Jose Mourinho was hired in 2010 to correct this and the special one brough his guys: Ozil, Khedira, Di Maria and later Modric were added to an already impressive squad: Xabi Alonso, Benzema, Higuain, etc. Mou won a cup and a league title in his first two years in charge but the third year was a blank one, no titles.
Carlo Ancelotti is the coach now and Florentino Pérez has splashed 100 million euros* to bring Gareth Bale. What can madridistas expect now?