Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kaka Moves to Real Madrid;
Perez Creating Galacticos Second Coming

Kaka's monster deal with Real Madrid (six years, €68M or $94M) is the first chess piece that Madrid president Florentino Perez has put on his board that he soon hopes to fill with Galacticos. Perez wants to emulate the Beckham-Figo-Ronaldo-Owen days of the early '00s, but if he pulls it off and brings over Cristiano Ronaldo, Franck Ribery and David Villa among others, this team will dwarf that team in not only talent, but payroll.

Why? May seem like a dumb question to ask, but I think it is a legitimate one. Has it ever worked? Madrid last won the Champions League in 2001-2002, and that team had Zidane and Figo and Raul, but it was hardly the superstar-laden team that followed. It was immensely talented and cohesive enough to win the continental title without the over-the-top spending on Beckham and Owen and (fat) Ronaldo that followed. A team that won squat by the way.


  • Filling the Bernabeu? Never an issue for Madrid.
  • Selling shirts? Well, OK, they'll sell more, but enough to offset the debt incurred to pay Kaka et al.?
  • Foreign tours? OK, sure, the world will want to see these guys play everywhere, but at what physical toll? And how many times do ALL the stars play on these tours?
  • Titles? Maybe. If history is any indicator, it's no guarantee of a championship. Look at Mourinho's Chelsea and Porto teams; neither of which was outlandishly decorated with the kings of the game, yet they won and won and won. Same goes for Liverpool. Same goes for Valencia (twice Champions League runners up, UEFA Cup winners, UEFA Super Cup winners). Same goes for Sevilla (two UEFA Cup wins, one UEFA Super Cup win.)

So why? Is Perez and ego gone mad? Perhaps. You can bet that a lot of it has to do with Barcelona's dominance in Spain and Europe this season and the lack of Madrid headlines worldwide. I'd love to feed manager Manuel Pelligrini some truth serum to see what he really thinks of Perez's Galacticos strategy. It's definitely squeaky-bum time for him because the fans won't turn on the players--at first--if things don't start out with a swathe of 3-0 victories.

Meanwhile, Kaka is the first pawn in Perez's game. Certainly, if he has his way, Ronaldo will be next, and maybe Villa and/or Ribery. It will be intersting to see how this works; there's only one ball and many superstar egos. That equation usually doesn't work out to the No. 1.

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aldearmas said...

Great signings coming for Real. But the question still remains. @ what cost? This is a very risky move. IF this doesn't work Real will be left with lots of debt and players not happy wanting out and not able to get top dollar for them as Real once paid to get them in. Just wait and see. I think Barca is still one step ahead. All their pieces are in place. They just need a player or two and they'll be ready to go again. It'll be interesting next season.

Joshua said...

Real won in 01-02 because of great holding/playmaking midfielders, Figo and Zidane. Figo one of the best of his generation, and Zidane one of the best of all time. While Kaka is a nice player I don't see him dictating play in the midfield in the way those 2 did or how Xavi and Ineista did this year for Barca. The other players Perez hopes to sign are not midfielders either. Doesn't look good for Real. They need playmaking midfielders and defenders.