Real Madrid FC: 5 Biggest Mistakes Under Florentino Perez
Florentino Perez began his second term as president of Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.
Since then he has appointed Jose Mourinho as manager and Madrid now look to be in the best position to challenge Barcelona's dominance in the Champions League and La Liga.
During his first stint as president, Perez made some bad decisions that the club is only just starting to recover from.
Below is a list of five of the key mistakes Florentino Perez made during his first campaign as Real Madrid president.
Letting Vicente del Bosque Depart
Perez made the crazy decision to not renew the contract of then manager Vincente del Bosque in the summer of 2003.
After completing a La Liga and Champions League double, del Bosque was expected to be offered a new deal.
Perez instead offered him the post of technical director which he quickly turned down and saw as an insult.
The decision caused uproar in the dressing room with several players, including captain Fernando Hierro, Steve McManaman and Fernando Morientes voicing their disapproval, all of which were later sold with Hierro, forced out of the club by Perez.
Since del Bosque, no manager has stayed at the Bernabeu for longer than two years, with the majority departing after just one.
Allowing Claude Makelele to Leave
Selling Claude Makelele to Chelsea should be seen as the beginning of the end for the first Los Galacticos team.
The Frenchman was widely regarded among his teammates as the most important player in the squad, yet his paycheck did not reflect this.
In 2003, the midfielder asked to renegotiate his contract, which Perez flatly refused. His Real teammates encouraged Makelele and despite vocal support from Raul, Zidane and Morientes, Perez refused to change his mind and criticised the Frenchman's ability.
With Makelele on the team, Real won six trophies including two in La Liga and one in the Champions League. Without him, they struggled, as he moved to Chelsea and became vital to their consecutive Premier League titles from 2004 to 2006.
When Perez began his first term as president of Real Madrid, he promised to bring one world class player to the Bernabeu each summer.
Figo, Zidane and Ronaldo joined in 2000, 2001 and 2002 respectively, but it was the signing of David Beckham in 2003 that illustrated the problem with the Galacticos' transfer policy.
Perez's influence on team affairs meant that players were picked based on their reputations and marketability, rather than form.
Real signed Beckham instead of Ronaldinho, arguably more for his appeal to the global market, and while Michael Owen scored more goals than Raul in 2004-2005, he could not establish himself as a regular.
These decisions had a major impact on why Real Madrid remained trophy-less until 2006-2007.
Refusing to Sign Samuel Eto'o
Up until 2004, Real Madrid co-owned Samuel Eto'o's contract with Mallorca.
The striker eventually signed for Barcelona that summer after successfully negotiating a deal with all three clubs involved, which included buying himself out of his contract with Real.
At the time, Eto'o had spent five seasons leading the attack at Mallorca and had become the club's all-time highest domestic goal scorer.
Florentino Perez did not believe that Eto'o would improve the strike force of Ronaldo and Raul.
Eto'o's contribution to the two Champions League and three La Liga titles Barca won was a bitter pill for Madrid fans to swallow.
It is not possible for every transfer to be successful.
Perez has an abundance of cash and in some cases he spent far too much money on players that failed to deliver.
The most guilty culprits were Jonathan Woodgate, Julio Baptista, Walter Samuel and Thomas Gravesen.
Woodgate and Baptista cost €20 million each and Samuel's price tag was €25 million.
Woodgate failed to compete in more than 10 league games, Baptista's form dipped dramatically after a promising early start and Samuel was sold after just one season.
The less said about Gravesen the better.
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