World Cup Qualifying 2010 -Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-5 Spain.
The Spaniards have yet again proved why they are among the top contenders for next years World Cup. Not only did they win by a comfortable margin, they did so with their second string midfield and maintained a perfect record. So business as usual right?
Meet Álvaro Negredo. After two very productive seasons with Almeria (where he scored 31 goals in 70 appearances) he was recalled to join the current crop of Real Madrid Galacticos for the pre-season.
Real Madrid under the the leadership exercised their buyback option for five million Euro's - which is a fantastic piece of business from any point of view. A proven goal scorer in La Liga, at 24 still very young and plenty of room for improvement.
Not only that, Negredo happens to be Spanish also. He would've given Real Madrid -Spain's team- something of an identity. Real Madrid have a very fine academy yet they always manage to waste their biggest talents.
It is still beyond me how incredibly talented players like Granero, Mata and Negredo aren't given a chance to prove themselves at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Instead they import players about the same age from elsewhere in the world, with mixed results. Royston Drenthe - talented player but hasn't the required temper to play for such a big club.
Marcelo - as soon as the opposing player is above average he usually gets skinned. Gonzalo Higuain had a very fine season last year but at some point even he was thought to be surplus to requirements.
With Raul not getting any younger and Ruud Van Nistelrooy spending more time injured on the sidelines, one has to wonder what was going on in Florentino Perez mind when he decided to sell Negredo.
Now that Negredo has made his debut for the national team there are rumors that Real Madrid intend to sign him as soon as next season.
Under the current leadership no player (and it's safe to say no manager neither) is safe from Perez madness. True to his word he bought the best money can buy. You can't really argue with the players he bought in the summer especially in Xabi Alonso's case.
As long as Florention Perez is in charge homegrown players like Negredo won't stand a chance even if they have proved themselves at another club.
Juan Mata is easily worth 20 million. Euros at this moment and if Negredo continues where he left off he could be even worth more by the end of this season. I wouldn't put it past Perez to buy both when they are worth at least 30 Mio. Euros just to comply with his intentions of only buying the best (read: most expensive) players around.
Welcome to Perez madness 2.0