So Many Unanswered Questions at Real Madrid
It's that time again, that's right it's time for another round of Real Madrid elections. Or is it?
Cause this time around there only seems to be one clear candidate, and he'll be a familiar face to some. That man is Florentino Perez, the original founder of the Galacticos era at the Santiago Bernabeu.
In his first spell in charge Perez sanctioned world beating transfers for the world's top stars, whilst continuously breaking world-wide transfer records. Before Chelsea and Manchester City could even dream of spending 30 million on one player, Perez's Real Madrid were spending 30, 40 and sometimes close to 50 million on a single player.
Every year for five straight seasons another superstar of world football joined Real's multiple million euro club.
First there was Luis Figo, controversially signed from Real's biggest rivals Barcelona for around 56 million euros, only bettered by the deal that took Zinedine Zidane away from Juventus and into the Bernabeu for in a figure, quoted in total to be around 64 million euros the following year.
Then in the next two years those transfers were followed by the modest in comparison deals for Ronaldo from Inter Milan for 30 million euros, and David Beckham's transfer the following year from Manchester United to Real Madrid for a mere 25 million euros.
These four superstars joined a star-studded team along with the like of Roberto Carlos and the club captain and only remaining galactico Raul Gonzalez Blanco.
The elections are scheduled for July 5th. This is because of Perez's successor Ramon Calderon resignation, due to allegations of vote rigging in Real's general assembly in January. The club at the time had just sacked head coach Bernd Schuster and were over ten points off leaders Barcelona in the race for the La Liga title. Vicente Boluda was made interim president, until elections could be held at the end of the season.
Boluda did a good job steadying the ship. He first hired former Seville and Tottenham manager Juande Ramos to oversee the first team until the end of the season. Ramos then signed Lassana Diarra from Portsmouth and Klaus-Jan Huntelaar from Ajax, both of whom helped the Madrid club to consolidate second place in La Liga and closed the points gap, if not slightly on now champions Barcelona.
The candidates announced for running were former presidents Perez, Calderon as well as Eduardo Garcia and Juan Onieva, who was vice president to Lorenzo Sanz in the late nineties.
Ramon Calderon was the first to remove his name from the race. Many questioned why Calderon would want to regain the reins, after relinquishing them only a matter of months earlier. Coupled with the fact that Calderon could find himself behind bars as a result of an investigation, into the scandal that saw him resign in the first place.
Calderon claimed to have an 80 million euro agreement with Manchester United for their Portuguese winger Cristino Ronaldo. The deal was reportedly brokered last summer, before the world player of the year opted to stay at Old Trafford.
Juan Onieva also pulled out of the race, within days of submitting his name, due to his disastrous official presentation, that was said to have severely damaged his creditability. This added to the fact that his vice president Carlos Gonzalez also withdrew his application citing "personal reasons."
Onieva had also claimed to have an agreement with Cristiano Ronaldo in place, which he later denied. Onieva wanted to place current Almeria manager Hugo Sanchez, the former Real Madrid striker and Mexico manager, in charge of first team duties next season.
Lastly Eduardo Garcia had to pull out due to problems getting a bank guarantee for the estimated 50 million euros that candidates needed to provide, to enter the candidacy race in the first place.
Garcia had pledged to bring Chelsea's Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba to the Bernabeu, as well as claiming to having agreements to sign two more players.
So Florentino Perez is the overwhelming favourite to be the next Real Madrid president at the July 5th elections, with no competition in sight, or even on the table.
Perez has pledged to bring the glory days back to Real, and plans to do this by overhauling most of the squad and sanctioning a massive 200 million euro spending spree.
The surviving members of the current team are rumoured to be club captain Raul, Sergio Ramos, Lassana Diara, Pepe, Iker Casillas and perhaps Marcelo. Thats means a complete exodus of the strong and indifferently performing dutch contingent currently occupying the changing rooms.
Whilst the likes of Huntelaar, Arjen Robben, and Ruud van Nistelrooy will feel harshly done by, to be culled, they'll be no short supply of admirers when the transfer window opens. Whilst the same can not be said for Royston Drenthe, Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart. Sneijder is being linked with Liverpool, while there is also talk of an immediate move to Chelsea for Van Der Vaart.
Rumoured to be arriving in there place are FC Porto's Bruno Alves to rekindle his defensive partnership with Pepe, Valencia's David Silva and David Villa, Bayern Munich's Frank Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo and AC Milan's Kaka. Any deal for Liverpool's Xabi Alonso is likely to include Wesley Sneijder as a possible makeweight.
Managerial wise, Perez's number one target is Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Wenger is reportedly said to be hurt by the recent criticism he has suffered from the gunner's hierarchy and fans due to another trophy-less season at the Emirates.
Although Wenger is unlikely to leave due to the amount of power that he enjoys in all aspects of the club. Regardless, its said that he's never been more interested in the Real Madrid job, than he is right now.
Other targets include Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez and Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho. Benitez is definitely not interested in leaving Anfield after just signing a new five-year contract at the club and being promised more power in the running of the Reds.
Although the Mourinho situation is harder to read, after the Portuguese tactician admitted he isn't hundred percent certain to be at the San Siro next season, and that he now regrets turning down the Real post in 2006 while he was at Chelsea.
The more likely appointment is likely to be former Getafe and Spartak Moscow manager Michael Landrup who was recently sacked by the Russian capital club. Or departing AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti who is also interesting Chelsea.
Unless some freak act of God happens, Florentino Perez will return as president after the elections, and with him he'll bring back Zinedine Zidane to work under him in a possible director of football role.
It's going to be an interesting summer in Madrid. But will Perez's return be good for Real Madrid? How bad is it that he'll probably walk straight into the job completely unopposed? While also who will stay, leave, or sign for the galacticos in the summer?
Expect a follow up piece when we know the answers!!
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