Sunday, September 23, 2018

Florentino Perez Might Not Exactly Like it but Zinedine Zidane is Creating a New Real Madrid

Milos Markovic in Editorial, La Liga 18 Sep 2017

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And a more exciting one we might just add.

Florentino Perez is a businessman. A very successful one with a heightened sense of entrepreneurship which has come quite handy when it comes to the 70-year-old’s handling of the European and Spanish champions Real Madrid.

Florentino Perez is best remembered as a man who ushered Real Madrid to the Los Galacticos era which truly raised the bar at Santiago Bernabeu as long as paying high fees for elite footballers is concerned.

Florentino’s Era

One of the pillars of the new project had been Zinedine Zidane, the French legend signed in 2001 from Juventus for a then-world record transfer fee of €73.5 million – a man now in charge of Florentino’s pet project.

The likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen, Robinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale among others helped Florentino Perez strengthen his position from the political point of view, while they also made Real Madrid a giant in both economic and sport-related aspects.

Florentino Perez also claimed success in clearing the club’s debt despite plenty of controversies that followed his reign and helped the club reclaim the domestic dominance from La Liga rivals Barcelona.

The most recent sports side of success, however, is much down to his first Galactico Zinedine Zidane who is doing wonders on Real Madrid bench, defying vicious critics who ultimately failed to vulture the Frenchman for his lack of managerial experience.

Not only did Zidane change the way Real Madrid are playing and performing but he also managed to get out of his president’s clutches and fight his way through squad-creating by steering away from a well-established model.

Los Galacticos Business Model

Real Madrid spent £157.95 million on new players in 2013/14, followed by £113.4 a year after, whereas the whopping sums were followed by a significantly milder amount of £70.2 spent in 2015/16. To put it all in perspective, Real Madrid spent £27 million to bring back Morata from Juventus in 2016/17, before investing just £41.85 this summer.

Some would argue that Real Madrid’s transfer ban resulted in numbers dropping down but the fact is Real Madrid are beginning – or at least trying – to change.

Florentino Perez might not necessarily like it, but Spanish media are full of reports he got mad with Zinedine Zidane for his lack of interest in signing a proper replacement for Alvaro Morata. The Spanish striker was sold to Chelsea and Los Blancos got left with misfiring Karim Benzema as their first-choice striker and Florentino Perez got anxious.

His fears went beyond the sporting aspects as this was the first summer Real Madrid failed to sing a notable, shirt-seller. Theo Hernandez is a coup of sorts and his talents are undeniable but neither him nor Zidane’s big wish Dani Ceballos are not exactly the box-office signings which send blood rushing through Florentino Perez’s veins.

A New Wave

And seeing the manager planning to promote Borja Mayoral as full-time Alvaro Morata replacement must be a huge stone around the president’s neck. Still, the quiet Zinedine Zidane is working his way and – most importantly – bringing success, which is why Florentino Perez should and could try to adopt a different approach himself.

And let’s take Borja Mayoral as a point in question.

The 20-year-old is everything Zinedine Zidane loves in a player. With only 20 years of age, the Spanish striker is a future investment whose talents were well documented in the UEFA Youth League. Mayoral played in two editions of the competition and ended up scoring 15 goals in 14 games, seven during the first season and eight in the second.

Zidane’s confidence in young striker is based in fact, which is why the Frenchman has a clear case to present in his defence.

Mayoral spent the last season on a disappointing loan at Wolfsburg but returned to Santiago Bernabeu where he was given the confidence in succeeding to replace Morata. And after two deflating draws against Valencia and Levante the young Spaniard was given a spearheading role against Real Sociedad.

The 20-year-old did more than scoring. He put in a commendable work rate, constantly moving off ball to help his teammates achieve their goal.

Success Guaranteed

The Sunday win puts Los Blancos four points adrift of the leaders Barcelona but it also provides the reigning champions with a much-needed boost in attempts to close the advantage in the early stages of the season.

Real Madrid face a daunting task of mounting the defence title challenge but can still be found as joint favourites at 2/1 betting odds to lift the coveted trophy at the end of the season.  

But with fledging stars such as Marco Asensio and Borja Mayoral – as players enjoying great amount of trust from their head coach – adding to the well-established base consisting such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale Real Madrid are presenting a case for a potential new business model at Santiago Bernabeu.

‘Think globally, act locally’ – a model that’s worked so well for Barcelona for quite some time with their La Masia academy and a model that is bound to succeed for Real Madrid in due time as well.

Will Florentino Perez be patient enough though?


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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