Real Madrid: It’s time to ask some tough questions about Florentino Perez

Real Madrid, Florentino Perez (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Florentino Perez (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Florentino Perez
Florentino Perez of Real Madrid (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

High-cost signings and selling players for minimal amounts

Florentino Perez is popularly known for his ‘Galactico’ policy. He is often seen as the president who doesn’t shy away from spending a lot of money on players. If not for his spending nature, we couldn’t have seen legends like Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid. At the same time, he used to make some smart and low-cost investments in players who grew to become one of the most important players for Real Madrid. He was seen as the perfect businessman by many people, but the way he has behaved in the transfer market in recent times is questionable.

Have a look at the signings made by him in the last three years:

  • Luka Jovic- 60 Million Euros
  • Eder Militao – 50 Million Euros
  • Rodrygo Goes – 45 Million Euros
  • Reinier – 30 Million Euros
  • Hazard – 115 Million Euros
  • Ferland Mendy – 48 Million Euros
  • Takefusa Kubo – Free
  • Brahim Diaz – 17 Million Euros
  • Vinicius Jr – 45 Million Euros
  • Thibaut Courtois – 35 Million Euros
  • Alvaro Odriozola – 30 Million Euros
  • Andriy Lunin – 8.5 Million Euros
  • Mariano Diaz – 23 Million Euros

First-team sales made by Real Madrid in the last 3threeseasons:

  • Cristiano Ronaldo – 117 Million Euros
  • Keylor Navas – 15 Million Euros
  • Marcos Llorente – 30 Million Euros
  • Theo Hernandez – 20 Million Euros
  • Mateo Kovacic – 45 Million Euros
  • Raul De Tomas – 20 Million Euros
  • Sergio Reguilon – 30 Million Euros
  • James Rodriguez – Free
  • Achraf Hakimi – 40 Million Euros

(Transfer fees are according to Transfermarkt)

If you look at the signings, except for Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy, and Thibaut Courtois, all other signings have been just back-up players. Few players were brought in for reasonable prices, but the amount spent on few backup options raises a lot of question marks. A combined sum of 230 million was spent on Luka Jovic, Vinicius Jr, Eder MIlitao, Alvaro Odriozola, and Rodrygo Goes, and none of these players have been regular starters for the club. The role of a player as a starter or a backup is down to the manager’s choices, but spending such a huge amount on players when there are one of the best players in the world in their position is truly questionable.

Another point of note is that five Non- EU players have been purchased in the last three years, while the team can have only three players at a time. Brazil allows their citizens to have dual citizenship, and they can apply for Spanish citizenship after two years, but looking for solutions in Brazil every time the club needs players isn’t a good idea.

And one needs to scratch their head to understand how 120 million was spent on Vinicius, Rodrygo and Reinier Jesus, as the three of them play in similar positions and they cannot play together in the future. At the same time, investing 115 million Eden Hazard, who had just one year left on his contract never looked like a good deal.

Coming to departures, Real Madrid have always respected the players who asked for a transfer and never made it difficult for them. But the club have been too generous in the case of few sales. Players like Sergio Reguilon, Marcos Llorente, and Achraf Hakimi (three of them are La Fabrica graduates) were sold for an amount less than their present market value, and Llorente was allowed to join the club’s direct rivals.

James Rodriguez, whose market value was 42 Million in 2019, was allowed to leave for free in 2020, though there was another year left in his contract. Keylor Navas, who was one of the best in his position at the time of his sale was allowed to leave for 15 Million, which looked like a nominal amount. Florentino Perez has behaved like a true gentleman and the way he has behaved represents Real Madrid’s values, but he needs to be more stubborn while negotiating for players.

Florentino Perez has always followed a policy that “No one is bigger than the club.” He has strictly followed that policy while renewing the contract of a player. He has been stubborn in renewals, and never let a player or an agent have the edge over him.

Right now the latest challenge is captain Sergio Ramos’ contract renewal, and Perez has been really stubborn in his case as well. But it’s very important for both the parties to come to an understanding because Ramos’ presence is important for the team and he needs to stay for two more years to ensure a smooth transition. It’s going to be interesting to see how this saga will end, and only time will tell if Perez was right or wrong.

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Florentino Perez is a human after all and he too commits mistakes. But he is also one of the reasons behind Real Madrid’s downfall in recent years. Florentino Perez isn’t the only one who takes decisions and the board is to blame as well, including Jose Angel Sanchez. But he’s the one who’s accountable for each move made by Real Madrid, and questioning him means questioning the whole board.

At this point in time, it is extremely important for the club to make some right decisions and some proper signings in the next transfer window. It is time for Perez to make amends and make Real Madrid the best club in the world again.