20 Times. Avid United fan through the hard times and the good. Still believes Wes Brown is the real hero of Old Trafford.
The Majesty Of World Football
A New Era?
It's hard to know where to begin when trying to explain the sheer amount of influence Florentino Perez's 'Galatico' policy had on the world of football. Promising a star player every single summer, Perez lapped up Real Madrid's Presidential election and set to work amassing the most glamorous side the world had ever seen.
Not only were the likes of Figo, Ronaldo, Beckham Zidane and Raul world-renowned talents at the time, they were also brilliant at ushering in the new era of commercial money makers into the world of football.
However, by the time David Beckham left Real in 2007, the Galatico policy had begun to be viewed as a dismal failure by most football fans. Teams such as Barcelona, without spending nearly as much as Madrid, had not only surpassed them domestically, but had even been crowned champions of Europe in 2006. The Champions League, as it is now, was very much the symbol of success to the Real Madrid faithful.
And although something of a resurgence in Galaticos has emerged with Perez in recent times, mainly with signings such as James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, it has usually been coupled with a decent amount of sales to incorporate these new stars, e.g. Mesut Ozil, Angel di Maria or even Ronaldo this year.
However, Real Madrid's 2018/19 season may force Perez's hand. For starters, for the first time in their history, Real Madrid are in danger of being seriously outspent. Not only are Barcelona seriously investing in their team with the likes of Malcolm, Dembele and Coutinho, but teams like Liverpool, Manchester City, Juventus and Bayern Munich are all showing off their financial muscle.
Money certainly doesn't guarantee success - Barcelona have certainly had their issues with their signings this season - but it's no coincidence that, in the majority of major leagues across Europe, the teams that spend the most tend to win the trophies.
There's also the demands of the Madrid faithful to contend with. Real Madrid's fanbase is notorious for its high expectations and lack of patience towards strategies that don't yield the trophies, and they've come to expect a certain class of player wearing their famous white shirt.
With a former Galatico once again leading the team, Perez is aiming for a summer of intent once again. With the signings of Eden Hazard from Chelsea and Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt confirmed for huge fees, it's clear that we might be seeing a new era of starlets feeling the pull of Madrid in the coming windows.
With names like Paul Pogba and Paulo Dybala constantly whirling around the Santiago Bernabeu, this new era of Galaticos might give these rumours a little bit more purpose.
It's clear that Zidane wouldn't return to Madrid without the promise of funds to back his vision for the side. As soon as Zidane was announced, it seemed certain that Eden Hazard's days at Chelsea were numbered. In true Galatico fashion, as soon as the window opened, Real Madrid were in and out of the deal with the kind of brutal pace that leaves the rest of the footballing world shook.
You would never, ever see Real Madrid behaving like some clubs in the world when it comes to the contract situations of their current players, or the potential deals they have in their pipelines. Unlike clubs like Arsenal or Manchester United, Real Madrid will always have a clear vision of what a Madrid player should look like, and whether or not they have one in their ranks.
Perez and Zidane are amassing a formidable side once again. The football world is no longer laughing at Madrid's poor season, instead they've returned back to the days of simply looking enviously at Real Madrid's ability to seemingly cherry pick the superstars of world football.
We have well and truly returned to the days of if Real Madrid come calling, any player or club in the world will find it hard to turn them down for long.