What unfolds beyond Beckham in Paris
By Arthur James
Under the first impulsive tenure of ‘El Presidente’ Florentino Perez, Real Madrid pursued a business model as simple as it was flawed; they spent copious amounts of money bringing in globally established superstars. Further peppering with a combination of relatively underpaid home-grown and often under-appreciated teammates, Perez’ project became The Galácticos. Under the guidance of Club President Lorenzo Sanz, Real had won their 7th and 8th European Cups in 1998 and 2000 respectively. However, the appeal of Perez and his promise of ruthless spending in an effort to control the transfer market were such that Sanz and his two European Cups in three years lost out in the Club’s Presidential election of 2000.
The initial merit of domestic and continental success granted credence to this electoral surprise. In the summers of 2000, 2001 and 2002, Perez brought Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo to Madrid for a combined figure surpassing the 100 million pound mark. These players along with Raul, Roberto Carlos and Iker Casillas venerated the club to their Galactic status. However, while the first three seasons yielded two League titles and their ninth European Cup, the summer of 2003 offered Real Madrid their opportunity for the biggest seat at football’s economic table. While the six players mentioned exuded a global appeal matched by few, the perennial superstar of footballing fame came by the means of a 25 million pound Englishman. When you’re looking to build a team you can fork out top money for the best players and it can often yield expected results, however, if it is a brand you are looking to expand, then you need a David Beckham.