Real Madrid general director Jorge Valdano admits there is an unprecedented gulf in class between themselves and bitter rivals Barcelona.
A dismal season in the Spanish capital was made even worse by Barca sweeping all before them as they stormed to a Primera Division, Champions League, and Copa del Rey treble.
Madrid also suffered the humiliation of being thrashed 6-2 at home by the Catalans and Valdano concedes Barca are currently leagues ahead of them.
"All the madridismo realised that Barcelona's style of play and their efficiency was admirable," he told Spanish daily El Publico. "Our goal is precisely to reach these levels of excellence.
"It's for that reason we have moved in the market with this determination. I have never seen this difference between Barca and Madrid. But this is a club that doesn't give up.
"If there is something that the history of Madrid shows it is that in key moments there has arrived a team of directors capable of imagining the future and acting in consequence."
It is set to be a busy summer in Madrid as they continue rebuilding under returning president Florentino Perez, who was in charge during the famous "galacticos" era.
Perez's first transfer deal after returning earlier this month was the £59m capture of Brazilian ace Kaka from AC Milan, while Madrid have also agreed a world-record £80m deal with Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo.
The club's bid to land homegrown talent has not been as successful. Although they have brought back Alvaro Negredo and signed Raul Albiol, they have so far failed in their bid to land Spain stars such as David Villa, Xabi Alonso, and Alvaro Arbeloa.
Perez has repeatedly claimed he wants to create a team which has a blend of foreign and Spanish players but Valdano admits that will be harder than first thought.
"We have proved to which point it costs to bring in Spanish talent," he said. "It costs us less to fight for a top level international target than a national player who hasn't even gone on stage to pick up third prize in the Ballon D'Or award.
"That's the reality of the market that we have to adapt to.
"We aspire to sign Spanish players. At the moment Kaka, Cristiano and Negredo, who we had an option with, have arrived.
"We made an enormous effort with Valencia for Villa and it didn't work out. We will have to change our aim, but the priority that we had planned was extremely clear.
"However, we don't want to fight with the Spanish media just because of our desire to make the team Spanish."