Florentino Perez: Always A Step Ahead

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It would be too long and useless to list all of Real Madrid’s achievements under Florentino’s presidency.

Voted best club of the 20th century, Real Madrid has, thanks to its president, proved during the last 20 years that it deserved its title. Mainly by winning 25% of the possible Champions League titles.

Let’s take a look at how Florentino Perez made Real Madrid greater than ever before.

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Taking The Throne

The year is 2000, Florentino Perez, a rich and ambitious business man covets sitting on Real Madrid’s presidency chair soon.

Rumour has it, Perez would have contacted Luis Figo’s agent before the election and made a deal.

According to RMC, Perez proposed to pay Luis Figo’s 60 millions release clause in case he won the elections. In case he lost, he would have had to pay a compensation to the agent.

Thinking Perez would lose, Jose Veiga, Figo’s agent, signed the deal happily. Perez went on to promise to bring Figo to Madrid. He won the elections against Lorenzo Sanz by earning 91% of the votes.

This win was the first of many for Don Florentino.

Los Galacticos

When Florentino became president he had one clear plan: sign all the best players. Spending big has undoubtedly always been his thing.

Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo and Beckham are just examples among many others. After one year, Real won Laliga. The next year, the UCL.

But then it started to stop working. Although Madrid was still there or thereabout, the winning mentality started to fade out. The squad started aging and the legends leaving or retiring.

In 2006, Florentino Perez resigned after falling second to Barcelona in La Liga and failing to lift the Copa or the UCL.

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Road to La Decima

When he comes back in 2009, his plan is still the same. As he arrives he breaks once again the world record fee, on a Portuguese player. Just like the old times. While also focusing on the future by signing the promising Benzema.

Perez also bought Kaka that year and completed the project by signing the special Jose Mourinho, a year later. It seemed like they had something great cooking at Madrid.

The arrival of Mourinho saw the club follow a new transfer strategy, buying the likes of Khedira, Di Maria and Ozil who were not particularly the high profiles but showed significant potential.

Although the Mourinho experience brought LaLiga and reaching UCL semi-finals, Jose failed to bring the trophy Real Madrid needed: La Decima.

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Conquering The World

2014 will mark the beginning of Real Madrid’s fairy tale. Finally achieving La Decima under Carlo Ancelotti.

One transitional season, then the arrival of Benitez comes to worry the Madridistas. While the 2015/16 seemed to be heading towards a catastrophical ending, along comes club legend to not only save the day but win the second UCL of the club in just 3 seasons.

A dramatic plot twist. But what happened there?

A change of plan

2014 will also have marked a second massive change in Real Madrid’s transfer management policy.

Bale and James will be the last high profile expensive players for a while. From now on, Perez will rely on stability and potential.

1- Stability

Before taking charge of the first team, Zidane assisted Ancelotti on his quest for La Decima. Through that, he acquired familiarity with the group he will coach later on.

Real Madrid won their recent UCL titles with similar line-ups. Almost the same squad played all four editions. Major difference being the absence of Angel Di Maria.

In order to avoid failing long term like with Los Galacticos in the middle of the 2000s, Perez decided to hunt young raw gems.

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2-Investing on youth

Now that Financial Fair Playis a thing, and now that many clubs have a a significant buying power, Madrid and Perez shifted their focus to snatching up the young talents before the world discovers them.

Odegaard, Vinicius, Hakimi and many others represent Madrid’s biggest asset today. A full squad of pure talent under the age of 23. A new policy that guarantees stability and continuity.

Either loaned out or introduced to the first team slowly, Real Madrid makes sure to play their young talent only if they’re close to their potential

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Mistakes

Of course Perez isnt perfect.

It goes without saying that he didn’t have much of a plan at first besides having the best players in the same team.
He was aware of that when he came back in 2009, but it was too soon to part ways with Zidane and Ronaldo in 2019.

A few mistakes that Perez surely learned from over the years.

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