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Real Madrid: From Triple to Double to Embarrassing

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 10:  Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid reacts during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Real Madrid and Lyon at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 10, 2010 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
Adi-Oula SebastianCorrespondent IIMarch 10, 2010

It's official. Real Madrid just crashed out of the UEFA Champions League , Europe's most prestigious club competition...again.

It shouldn't be a surprise. It's happened before. Time to revisit the past.

Quick exit

The 2008-2009 season ended disastrously, and to add insult to injury, arch rival FC Barcelona won everything, including the UEFA Champions League title.

It was time for Real Madrid to restore its place among Europe's elite football clubs in 2009-2010.

But it was not be. For the fifth year in a row, Real Madrid —the team that leads the Champions League with nine titles—has been eliminated in the first round. 

For a club of whose players and fans alike claim to be the best in the world, it is an embarrassment. 

Meet Florentino Perez

Ever since the closing stages of the 2008-2009 season, the voices calling for Florentino Perez to return as president grew louder by the day.

Ramon Calderon was a disgrace. Who better to usher into a new age of glory and dominance than the man who created the first Galacticos?

Galacticos 2.0

And Perez returned—with a bang. 

In moves that cost almost 260 million euros, he signed back-to-back Ballon d'Or winners, Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo ; the immensely talented Karim Benzema ; and arguably the most important Galactico in a while—Xabi Alonso .

His intentions were clear: match or better the performance of FC Barcelona and win the Champions League final, which will be played at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid's home pitch.

It was a gamble—and he lost.

Perez should be prepared for the backlash that's about to be unleashed on him and his team. In a time of global recession, he spent ridiculous amounts of money to rebuild a team, only to crash out of the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

Even if Real Madrid manages to win the La Liga , it has become the laughing stock of Europe. 

Reality check

Some of the Real Madrid players are in serious need of a reality check. Players like Marcelo talk a lot of game but deliver next to nothing when it really matters. Cristiano Ronaldo just looks cocky after predicting Real Madrid could win the triple just like FC Barcelona.

One thing Perez should bring back to the Bernabeu is a sense of humility. Just because you can buy the best players in the world doesn't mean the opponents shut up and roll over. Money can't buy you everything, and I'm damn sure it won't buy you the triple.

Olymique Lyonnais has progressed, but it is Real Madrid dominating the news.

History repeats itself. Again, it's all about Real Madrid —for all the wrong reasons.

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