Former Real Madrid player Steve McManaman called it the “Disneyfication of Real Madrid”; others scoffed at the idea as a bad science experiment gone wrong. If there was ever a time where football was at its peak of absurdity, this was most definitely the time.
Los Galacticos. The mere mention of the two words together conjure up memories of watching some of the world’s great names in the sport — Beckham, Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo and Owen — stepping onto the same pitch wearing the same kit and playing together in a match that wasn’t a friendly for charity. For the first time ever Real Madrid had bought the greatest names in the world to form the biggest mega-power on and off the pitch that we’ve ever seen.
Florentino Perez, who was the president at the time, built the team with the intent of making the club the biggest “brand” on the planet. The idea worked; it’s just too bad the lack of consistency on the pitch didn’t match the money Madrid was making off it. In 2006 Perez was ousted at Madrid to never come back.
The Galácticos era was officially over — or so we thought.
With the lack of success recently at Real Madrid, a decision was made to bring in a new president to turn things around. What Real Madrid needed was a spark; someone who could come in and bring the club back to respectability.
Enter Florentino Perez. The former president, who was was forced to step down in 2006, has decided that he’s seen enough of Barcelona at the top of the table. So earlier today Perez did something that could back into the good graces of the Madrid faithful: he entered his name in the elections and promised a return to the Galácticos era if given the chance.
“I know that the status of the club is precarious and is a challenge and I should not have left without having assured that there was the stability that Real Madrid needed,” Perez said to a packed press conference earlier today.
Rumours are that Perez will announce in the coming days who his transfer targets would be for the summer if he won the election. And with the likes of Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, Milan’s Kaka, Arsenal’s Cesc Fábregas, Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribéry and Valencia’s David Villa floating around, there’s a very good chance that if Perez was elected president, that we could see the start of a new Galácticos era.
And who would manage such a club? When asked to confirm if Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger or Inter’s Jose Mourinho were on his list, Perez said coyly, “They are great managers.”
Real Madrid’s election are on June 14th, but if today’s conference was a sign of things to come, then chances are pretty good that we’ll see some more fireworks from Perez over the next month.