Such is the ego of the man that, despite years of making huge signings, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez pleaded poverty when the grotesque plan to make European football a soulless VIP booth crumbled before his very eyes.
Indeed, with the European Super League plans in ruins after fans, pundits, players and manager across the globe started a revolution to seize the power back from the gutless owners locked up in their plush castles, Perez suggested the elite teams could go out of business in the not-too-distant future if they weren’t allowed to freely change the entire nature of football.
Watching his battleship sink into the murky depths, much to the delight of the baying bottomfeeders he appears to hold in a higher than the average football fan, Perez then claimed young people just aren’t into football – in its current form – these days.
Yet, despite Florentino Perez continuing to shout vociferously about the financial impracticalities of modern football, many have begun to point out that he is responsible for the Galacticos era and many of the biggest, and worst, signings of all time. So, we decided to put together a list.
5 worst Florentino Perez signings
Asier Illarramendi – €32.2m, 2013
It’d be hard to describe Asier Illaramendi as a bad player but the heir to Xabi Alonso’s throne never really worked out in the Spanish capital.
90 appearances over two years does sound like a lot but the midfielder was largely relegated to a secondary role in the major competitions, making most of his outings in the Copa Del Rey and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Brought to the club for a lot of money, the fact he couldn’t match Alonso isn’t a slight on him of course but the fact he was sold at a loss back to Real Sociedad speaks to how little genuine impact he was able to make. A waste of time and money by Florentino Perez.
James Rodriguez – €71m
The Galaticos policy at its absolute worst.
Clearly, James Rodriguez was a hot property after the 2014 World Cup and was certainly a talented player, though was a completely unnecessary addition to a team who had just won the Champions League.
Indeed, in order to fit him into the team, Angel di Maria – who was awarded the Man of the Match award in the dramatic final against Atletico Madrid – was sacrificed in an ill-thought out shoehorning.
Leaving on a free transfer six years later after a two-year loan spell with Bayern Munich, Rodriguez is undoubtedly one of the poorest signings made by Florentino Perez and was a costly waste of money.
Luka Jovic – €60m
The logic here made sense.
Replacing Cristiano Ronaldo with just one player was never going to be realistic so why not try and introduce more goals into the team by signing one of the most feared marksmen of the 2018/19 campaign?
Still, Jovic’s face never appeared to fit at a superclub and – given that glorious campaign at Eintracht Frankfurt was his only real showing that he could score goals at the top level – a big move was certainly rash.
He scored just two goals for Real Madrid. Two.
Kaka – €68.5m
There is a reason why AC Milan sold Kaka, aside from the world-record fee they received for him.
Coming towards the end of his glory period in 2009, the Brazilian great’s body was starting to let him down and the number of injuries had taken a toll on him. Indeed, had it not been for the signing of Ronaldo a few weeks later – as well as Karim Benzema finally getting the credit he deserves – the Galactico drive of that summer would have decimated by the press.
The sad truth is, Kaka just wasn’t the same player at Real Madrid and never fully proved himself in La Liga.
Eden Hazard – €100m
The gravest mistake of them all and surely the poorest outcome of all signings made my Florentino Perez.
While Perez cannot be blamed for injuries to players, any Premier League fan would have been able to tell him that Eden Hazard – despite all his excellence – was prone to niggling problems that had a serious impact on his consistency.
At 29 and in the final year of his contract, that price always looked steep and the fact it came just before th COVID-19 pandemic looks to have caused a financial meltdown at Madrid, such was the over-the-top nature of it all.
Hazard has barely played and, if anything, Madrid have looked better without him.
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