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Stately Perez defends big spending

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Mihir Bose | 11:06 UK time, Thursday, 16 July 2009

It was my BBC cameraman, Phil Gregory, who astutely summed up Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid FC. As we left the dining suite on the 11th floor of his office in the Spanish capital, Phil said to me: "You know what, Senor Perez is the nearest to a statesman as I have seen in football. He has that bearing."

Now Senor Perez has been called many things - for one, he has been accused of destroying football and distorting the transfer market with the obscene amounts of money he throws around to secure the services of the world's best footballers - but a "statesman"? Is that not a bit rich?

Yes, it is easy to be impressed by the Perez fortunes and the opulence he surrounds himself with. Flunkeys lined his every route and as he entered the hallway that led to the suite set aside for the interview. It was as if royalty was on its way.

But Phil, an Aston Villa fan brought up on all tales of 'Deadly' Doug Ellis, knows his football and recognises that Perez has mastered the art of conveying how a businessman who has got into football should look and act like, in contrast to the very many in similar positions in English football.

This does not mean that the 62-year-old's policy of hiring 'Galaticos' will work or is good for football. It seems to me it is making the modern game more like show business. Indeed, such a policy resembles the old Hollywood studios tactic of hiring the biggest number of stars as possible. Their acquisition may not have resulted in great films, but it ensured other studios did not have access to them.

Perez's defence is that his actions are part of Real Madrid tradition dating back to the 1950s and the time of Santiago Bernabeu, the club's legendary president. After all, how is the acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka any different to the capture of Alfredo Di Stefano or Ferenc Puskas? The sums of money are much, much higher but the essence of the policy is still the same: If there is a world-class player out there, get him.
Perez also argues that Real had three years of neglect to make up for, hence the decision to buy Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema in quick succession for a mouth-watering £170m.

In his first interview since his very public shopping spree, Perez made it clear he would only speak in Spanish. Yet both before and after our chat on camera, he conversed in perfectly good English. And during the interview, there were occasions when it was clear he had understood the question before it had been interpreted because he began answering it almost straight away. His decision to respond in Spanish is a sure sign of a politician who wants to be sure of what he is saying in the language he is most comfortable.

Anyway, you can judge for yourself by watching the interview embedded below:

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One thing Perez has in common with most other football chairmen I have met, or players and managers for that matter, is that they love recalling their days of glory. So the first thing he did was to take me to the window and point out the buildings that have been built on what was once the club's training ground, which was sold off to finance the extravagant purchases in Perez's previous regime. Incidentally, he denies such a radical move will be required this time around, insisting Ronaldo and company are "investment" footballers who will bring money into the club.

When I subsequently mentioned to Perez that I had attended my first Champions League final in 1998 when Real Madrid had beaten Juventus 1-0 at the Amsterdam Arena, their first win in Europe's premier tournament after many years, Perez immediately informed me that he had not been president at the time. He had been president in 2002, though, and went on to wax eloquently of the club's triumph at Hampden, when Zinedine Zidane, whom he had spent a then world-record £47m, scored a magical goal to give Real a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

Come to think of it, Perez is no different to 'Deadly' Doug in that respect. Ellis never liked to dwell on Villa's greatest moments of the early Eighties, when they won the old First Division Championship, the European Cup and the European Super Cup, beating Barcelona no less. Maybe that's because he hadn't been in the Villa Park boardroom at the time.

Comments

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  • 1. At 2:01pm on 17 Jul 2009, Joshua_Son wrote:

    Not your worst blog Mihir - b4 every1 slates u

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  • 2. At 2:06pm on 17 Jul 2009, crash wrote:

    football in the sky format is show buisness and has been for a while. entertainment is a key part of watching the game in the first place. thus i look forward to seeing madrid, although i know they are far from unbeatable

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  • 3. At 2:10pm on 17 Jul 2009, alchyrob wrote:

    I've jsut re-read this for the 3rd time and still trying to work out the point of this. You met a football president who comes across as a statesmen? Here I was, hoping for a little bit of insight into how he feels his ridiculously attack heavy recruitment policy is going to help shore up a porous defence, and I get...this. I don't even know what to call it.

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  • 4. At 2:28pm on 17 Jul 2009, pekster11-save 606 wrote:

    Summer 2003 : Were it all went wrong. A suumer full of mistakes on Perez's part.. All madrid fans hope he isnt gonna make the same mistakes again.

    Summer 03 events:

    R Madrid narrowly win la liga ahead of real sociedad, and lose in the semi finals of the champions league to juve..

    Perez dismisses Del Bosque and replaces him with carlos queiroz !!, and defender hierro without adequately replacing him ( madrid B team product Pavon was supposed to be the repacement !)
    Refuses to pay Claude Makelele an acceptable salary, dismisses his ability as a player, and goes against the advice of the senior players in the squad who emphasise to perez the importance of makelele to the team..
    Buys Beckham from manu, initially played in the makelele midfield holding roll !

    madrid fail to win anything for the remaining 3 years of perez's first spell in charge.

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  • 5. At 2:41pm on 17 Jul 2009, guyastral wrote:

    Real Madrid is the club of loyalty hence the term Real. As a club they feel theyre the football dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, theyve always been in the forefront. This is, as a concept, perhaps difficult to understand for an English fan but for a Real or Barcelona fan, football is more than a game and Perez epitomizes this.

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  • 6. At 2:41pm on 17 Jul 2009, pekster11-save 606 wrote:

    I've jsut re-read this for the 3rd time and still trying to work out the point of this. You met a football president who comes across as a statesmen? Here I was, hoping for a little bit of insight into how he feels his ridiculously attack heavy recruitment policy is going to help shore up a porous defence, and I get...this. I don't even know what to call it.

    ...................................................................
    madrid have bought a spanish international central defender raul albiol from valencia, and other defenders will come before the season starts..

    its a myth that madrid never spend money on defenders !
    Walter samuel, and sergio ramos were bought in perez first spell for big money...
    Calderon spent big money on pepe, canavaro and metzelder too

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  • 7. At 2:43pm on 17 Jul 2009, dcrulesok wrote:

    Ok so perhaps I haven't watched the interview, but I'd at least expect the blog to deliver on the promised headline.

    Nowhere in this body of text does Perez defend his spending policy. This is just a brief summary of a conversation, which ultimately suggests that Mr Bose was won over by Sr Perez charm more than anything else.

    Its got more than a whiff of Chick Young and David Murray about it...

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  • 8. At 2:46pm on 17 Jul 2009, pekster11-save 606 wrote:

    I've jsut re-read this for the 3rd time and still trying to work out the point of this. You met a football president who comes across as a statesmen? Here I was, hoping for a little bit of insight into how he feels his ridiculously attack heavy recruitment policy is going to help shore up a porous defence, and I get...this. I don't even know what to call it.

    ................................................
    its a myth that madrid dont spend big money on defenders !
    They've just bought spanish international central defender raul albiol form valencia !
    In perez's first spell he bought walter samuel, and sergio ramos for big money.. calderon bought pepe, canavaro and metzelder for big money too

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  • 9. At 2:46pm on 17 Jul 2009, Joseshivers wrote:

    Must admit I'm a little baffled, what was the point of this article?

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  • 10. At 2:47pm on 17 Jul 2009, tj wrote:

    Who would like to both Madrid and Man City win sod all next year? :)

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  • 11. At 2:56pm on 17 Jul 2009, pekster11-save 606 wrote:

    lots of clubs in spain have the "real" or royal prefix, not just real madrid !!

    the royal family have never funded real madrid,,, thats another urban myth about madrid !

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  • 12. At 3:02pm on 17 Jul 2009, ToronadoCheese wrote:

    Insightful stuff as usual from Mihir. I truly impressive piece of writing which we can all learn from.

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  • 13. At 3:04pm on 17 Jul 2009, JackMcMac wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 14. At 3:06pm on 17 Jul 2009, ChocolateBoxKid wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 15. At 3:08pm on 17 Jul 2009, footballandethics wrote:

    people dying from poverty.

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  • 16. At 3:08pm on 17 Jul 2009, unseenforces wrote:

    finally...a good blog from mihir bose...

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  • 17. At 3:13pm on 17 Jul 2009, M'dus F'cus wrote:

    Blog:
    To Be Continued.......(hopefully)

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  • 18. At 3:17pm on 17 Jul 2009, dosani1977 wrote:

    I think you mean 'eye-watering' rather than 'mouth-watering' Mihir. And you can add to that soul-destroying' too.

    I think that Plattini or Blatter need to do something about this - perhaps salary and transfer caps? And look into clubs that are 'technically-insolvent', but keep the wolves away through sharp tactics & effectively state/local govt subsidisation.

    Don't FIFA have a policy against govts interfering with national FAs? Perhaps that should also include individual clubs?

    The glory days of Puskas and Di Stefano you refer to should be taken in context of the political regime at the time. Barca tried to sign at Di Stefano, but were stopped by the government, and the player was 'handed' to Madrid.

    No matter who they buy, I will never support Madrid because of what they stand for.

    Long live the People's Clubs (Barca & Everton)

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  • 19. At 3:18pm on 17 Jul 2009, 1carlos wrote:

    Perez says he won´t need to build another 4 towers to pay for the new crop of ¨Galacticos¨ ( yes, they hate that name being mentioned in Madrid! )....but how about some serious investigative journalism into how Perez made the Property ¨coup¨of the century in the first place, I´m sure it would make for some interesting reading....certainly nobody in Spain wants to ¨delve under the carpet¨ in that matter....
    Of course , now he doesn´t need to sell any land or anything....he just needs to ask his banking mates to lend him millions during the so called ¨crisis¨ where they´re not prepared to lend a tenner to anyone with more ¨concrete¨ propositions of their own!!
    Yes, Perez has all the charm in the world and he is well used to people falling at his feet in Spain....but , please BBC & Mihir, lets have less awe and more in-depth critical objectivity.... Gracias.

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  • 20. At 3:24pm on 17 Jul 2009, cat_eat_fish wrote:

    ... and he didn't mentioned his childhood in India once.

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  • 21. At 3:25pm on 17 Jul 2009, edsondc1987 wrote:

    If people actually watched the video that was embedded in the blog, they'd realize that Perez stated that he was simply following the transfer policy that was started back in the 1950s with Santiago Bernabeu.

    Personally I think spending all this money is outrageous. I doubt that they will recoup a majority of it on merchandise sales and ticket sales. The world economy is definitely not at its best right now and while they may get close to making the initial 80M back, nobody is talking about Ronaldo's wages, which have go to be pretty high.

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  • 22. At 3:27pm on 17 Jul 2009, neova2 wrote:

    I was expecting some probing quesitions to Perez during this interview. It's nothing more than just casual conversation. I guess I shouldn't expect any investigative journalism out of this piece, but then again the title of this blog should not have made it appear so!

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  • 23. At 3:31pm on 17 Jul 2009, adampsb wrote:

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  • 24. At 3:41pm on 17 Jul 2009, I like cats wrote:

    Every club in the world could try to do what Real Madrid do IF they were given the opportunity to borrow several times the amount of money that the club itself is worth. Which is not good business sense, hence why banks do not allow this to happen. However, there are some exceptions and then there's exceptions to the exceptions, and they are Real Madrid and Man United primarily.
    However, there is no way on earth that Real Madrid can re-coup the money spent on their signings this Summer. If they had JUST bought Ronaldo or Kaka, then you can see the logic so that the new kit comes out and everyone buys a shirt with one of the names on it. But by signing 2 or 3 at once then you can't seriously expect that to happen 3 times, someone isnt going to buy the home, away and third shirt with different names on them, it's a ludicrous suggestion. So where else so they expect to get the money from? The stadium? For sure but it hasn't gotten any bigger so they'll have to raise ticket prices and people in Spain aren't as passive as in England and they'll vote with their feet and not go through the turnstiles to make a point, that's for sure.
    Bigger share of TV rights? On what grounds? Barcelona won the league last year and also won the CL, so any lions share of TV revenue would rightfully be theirs!
    Real Madrid's TV channel is not generating anything of note, it has no live games!
    Big friendly games abroad are the only way they can hope to recoup some money but lo and behold they're in Ireland playing Shamrock Rovers this Monday!
    Very simply they are a club that always has and always will run up massive debts but never have them called in by the bank. It's a shameful affair and it's made even more shameful by Perez suggesting it's anything else.

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  • 25. At 3:59pm on 17 Jul 2009, AwdTiger wrote:

    #18 Dosani 1977 says "I think that Plattini or Blatter need to do something about this - perhaps salary and transfer caps? And look into clubs that are 'technically-insolvent', but keep the wolves away through sharp tactics & effectively state/local govt subsidisation."

    But aren't all the top four english clubs doing just the same? Each of them are almost required each year to be in the Champions League in order to service the debt of the club? Perhaps only Arsenal have a long-term business plan, but then you wonder what would happen if they had a year or two out of the CL? Real Madrid take this approach one step further by requiring the new 'Galacticos' to also earn revenue through marketing/sales etc.

    On the blog itself, I'm not sure Mihir intended to give us the low-down of all the spending Real Madrid have and have not done? It was simply to draw a distinction between the way clubs are run in England and those top clubs in Spain.

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  • 26. At 4:01pm on 17 Jul 2009, secondoctavian wrote:

    18. At 3:17pm on 17 Jul 2009, dosani1977 wrote:
    I think you mean 'eye-watering' rather than 'mouth-watering' Mihir. And you can add to that soul-destroying' too.

    I think that Plattini or Blatter need to do something about this - perhaps salary and transfer caps? And look into clubs that are 'technically-insolvent', but keep the wolves away through sharp tactics & effectively state/local govt subsidisation.

    Don't FIFA have a policy against govts interfering with national FAs? Perhaps that should also include individual clubs?

    The glory days of Puskas and Di Stefano you refer to should be taken in context of the political regime at the time. Barca tried to sign at Di Stefano, but were stopped by the government, and the player was 'handed' to Madrid.

    No matter who they buy, I will never support Madrid because of what they stand for.

    Long live the People's Clubs (Barca & Everton)''


    Everton the peoples club? don't make me laugh, ManU at home, tickets on GENERAL SALE!!!!!

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  • 27. At 4:04pm on 17 Jul 2009, Gunner_avi wrote:

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  • 28. At 4:06pm on 17 Jul 2009, nik wrote:

    Short request: Could you please post a transcript of the interview? I much prefer to read... if I wanted to watch videos, I might be watching TV... don't know why but TV bores me to death. For video, I need to crank up the audio, possibly put on headphones depending on where I am, then sit through 7 minutes of interview. A transcipt I'd be able to read in less than 20 seconds. Anyway - there's a reason I use the web much more than I watch TV...

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  • 29. At 4:12pm on 17 Jul 2009, bredtobered-forum troll wrote:

    5. At 2:41pm on 17 Jul 2009, guyastral wrote:
    Real Madrid is the club of loyalty hence the term Real. As a club they feel theyre the football dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, theyve always been in the forefront. This is, as a concept, perhaps difficult to understand for an English fan but for a Real or Barcelona fan, football is more than a game and Perez epitomizes this.

    perhaps difficult to understand for an English fan???????

    perhaps difficult for a madrid or barca fan but you, my friend, are talking out your arsenal.

    we have leagues amoungst the most lucrative in the world and its not because we think football is just a game. its because we live for football and have been doing since it was born.
    You talk of the 'Real' loyalty...show me? where has the loyalty been all these years because as far as i can see its a club with so much political backing it can buy who it wants when it wants and for any amount of money.






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  • 30. At 4:14pm on 17 Jul 2009, Gunner_avi wrote:

    I think its high time that Monsieur Platini steps in and puts his foot down on the "orgy" of spending that we have witnessed over the last two transfer windows: first by Manchester City and now by Real Madrid.

    I strongly believe that footballing battles should be won on the field and not off it. I am a huge fan of the Gunners, and it is because their football is based on ethical principles well within the means and ethos of the club. It is beautiful football that is bred and cultivated by Arsene Wenger and not bought off Christie's auction. Same goes for player salaries.....the market is turning a footballer into a greedy businessman pawning off his skills.

    At this rate, I think competitions should simply be eliminated.....after all what is the point? The Champion's League and the Premier League and all other leagues should be put up for auction and simply sold to the highest bidder.......that way we don't have to waste people' time and money.

    Its high time that a strict spending limit is introduced along with salary caps. Let the battles be fought on the field rather than off it.

    All's fair in love and war, but I don't think Tolstoy played football!!

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  • 31. At 4:17pm on 17 Jul 2009, bredtobered-forum troll wrote:

    23. At 3:31pm on 17 Jul 2009, adampsb


    its all in the video pal.

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  • 32. At 4:24pm on 17 Jul 2009, Millonarios wrote:

    All those critising this blog. Do you really think Perez will allow any reporter to dig deep. With such a personality you are limited to what you can ask, etc.

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  • 33. At 4:25pm on 17 Jul 2009, Andres Mora wrote:

    Wasn't it better to put some subtitles on the video?

    I don't like when voices are dubbed over the original, in the end I can't hear neither the Spanish or the English one.

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  • 34. At 4:27pm on 17 Jul 2009, Millonarios wrote:

    and give Mihir credit for grilling Perez about $$$$$

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  • 35. At 4:43pm on 17 Jul 2009, Wenger4PM wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 36. At 5:07pm on 17 Jul 2009, PACA-arab wrote:

    It is Scotland on a European scale. For years the old firm stayed on top by buying the best players from the other teams to ensure their success. As in Scotland national teams will suffer as good players rot away in the reserves instead of playing every week.

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  • 37. At 5:10pm on 17 Jul 2009, Nick wrote:

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  • 38. At 5:17pm on 17 Jul 2009, The_All_Seeing_Eye wrote:

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  • 39. At 5:23pm on 17 Jul 2009, youngcraig1980 wrote:

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  • 40. At 5:25pm on 17 Jul 2009, Nick wrote:

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  • 41. At 5:31pm on 17 Jul 2009, e-Bull wrote:

    One shudders to imagine the latent and potent message that would be passed to the world of football were CITE and Real win EPL and La Liga respectively. But again if only wishes were coloured horses. Game on, let the season begin and may the best team win.

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  • 42. At 5:31pm on 17 Jul 2009, bandit-vikz wrote:

    Don't really care about perez but cannot wait to see the real madrid side in action with the likes of kaka, benzema, raul,and ronaldo in the same team.Never thought i would see kaka and ronaldo play on the same side,only one member missing i think, but unfortunately he plays for there catalan rivals.

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  • 43. At 5:51pm on 17 Jul 2009, redforever wrote:

    A lot of harsh comments about this blog. What exactly are people looking for? Listen to the interview and then read Mihirs impression of the man. I think there is a lot of credit to Mihir for asking some pretty direct questions about the Real policy, and what the debt situation is. Perez gave his answers and some of you seem to want to hear Mihir tell us all he thinks Perez is a liar or something. Make up your own mind whether you believe Perez is truthful, a megalomaniac or whatever.

    Personally I think that we all get upset when a team snaps up many of the best players, but the reality is the overwhelming number of soccer fans are supporting a local team, for whom the extravagances of Real Madrid, have no more impact than the expenditure of Aston Villa (to use one medium spending premier team). So they are in debt? He explained that the debt is less than three years forecast profit. That compares very favourably with many English teams, and that doesnt even take into account the money they could raise if they sold the players on, should the debt be called in...its really not that big of a deal.

    Perhaps the issue is that other teams havent had the spuds to do the same thing. Or perhaps its a lot of Man Utd fans, who are now concerned they have fallen further behind in Europe despite their dominance of England.

    Football is big business now at the top level, and Real are at the forefront of using business techniques to be successful as a business. They are not alone though. Do you think that United were in Indonesia because of the pleasant climate?

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  • 44. At 6:59pm on 17 Jul 2009, vcfsantos wrote:

    ITS JUST A BLOG!!! Why on earth does everybody seem to have a go at Mihir when he writes? To the person who said that he hasn't tried to defend his spending policy: yes, the blog makes it clear that he has - he argues that it is RM tradition that they will always try and sign the best talent in the world. That is his defence.

    It was an interesting blog. Took me a couple of minutes to read and gave me a slightly better idea of what Perez was like. That's all I wanted from it.

    By and large, Bose's blogs are very interesting, especially those in which he discusses the politics in cricket. I think some people must assume that he had at least a day with Perez - my guess is that isn't how it was! He's generated a blog from a short interview - fair play.



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  • 45. At 7:16pm on 17 Jul 2009, paul camilleri wrote:

    "Real Madrid is the club of loyalty hence the term Real. As a club they feel theyre the football dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, theyve always been in the forefront. This is, as a concept, perhaps difficult to understand for an English fan but for a Real or Barcelona fan, football is more than a game and Perez epitomizes this."

    So let's skip straight over the smug, condesending tone and just focus on the "Club Of Loyalty". Manchester United have six players who are British, have come through the junior ranks to play first team football and have been at the club for five years or more, how many Madrid players fit that role?

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  • 46. At 8:07pm on 17 Jul 2009, redforever wrote:

    Who are these six English united players who have come through the ranks?? Brown (bit part player, utilitymake weight at best and usually injured), Fletcher (the player that would have beaten Barcelona!! Sure only picked for 1 game in 3 by Ferguson), O'Shea (you all think he's rubbish, because he is) That goalie, that is always injured? Are you still counting Scholes and Giggs? Surely you arent trying to have us beleive that Ferdinand and Rooney came through the ranks, or that Hargreaves 25 games in 2 years count? Please.
    United fans are deluded as to the emergence of youth, since the "kids" there hasnt been one star player. You are a buying club for the nig names, no different to Real, and thats okay. But you are bitter because you thought you were bigger than them and Ronaldo has broken your delusion.

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  • 47. At 8:12pm on 17 Jul 2009, graduatefast wrote:

    Good blog.

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  • 48. At 8:52pm on 17 Jul 2009, Andrew McKay wrote:

    Why don't we ever hear anything from FIFA or UEFA, in particular when the big Spanish clubs are spending ridiculous amounts of money? Apparently, it's only a problem when English clubs do so....

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  • 49. At 9:06pm on 17 Jul 2009, PhearTheTurtle wrote:

    Statesman or not, I don't think Real is fixing their biggest problem; they've got too many expensive players on the bench and there's pressure to play them all. And they've compounded last season's problem by bringing in scads more attacking players when their real problem is that their back four aren't really all that great.

    Barcelona, by contrast, are looking at David Villa as Samuel E'to goes his way, and Villa made it clear he'll take a pay -cut- to play at Barca.

    I have to contrast that with the motivation of the Real Madrid players. I do not think the likes of Kaka or Ronaldo will bring a fierce desire to win to that squad, whereas Pep Guardiola clearly has instilled that in his unit.

    I think Real Madrid's model is ridiculous and Perez is an egomaniac whose actions are actually counterproductive. I don't think they've made what I'd call outstanding deals. Then again, he seems to be an old man that only knows one trick when confronted with a problem-- spend. Kind of reminds me of the government here in the US.

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  • 50. At 9:16pm on 17 Jul 2009, LincsKopite wrote:

    Well, well, well. Let's see what happens this time. Does Perez really think that buying a load of very expensive 'stars' will help them do well again? Well, last time round, they did brilliantly.
    At making money from shirt sales, that is.
    On the pitch?
    Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm; not so well at all. No trophies in 3 years.
    Personally, I hope they don't get Ribery because that would just be tasteless swallowing up of lots of big name players. I hope Ribery stays at Bayern or goes to Barca.
    And will all these top players play??? Don't think so. Expect there to be bedlam when everything goes belly-up. Mark my words.

    Now for Barca; I think they've got things better planned out- but buying Ibra and shipping out Eto'o to Inter?? I personally think that if they get Villa, that would be better than getting Ibrahimovic because I think he may suit Barca's style of play better. But you never know; Ibra might work. He's a very good player who can come up with moments of absolute brilliance (although he is a bit cocky I think) but he doesn't deliver enough on the big occasions, but he may work in a better side than Inter (no disrespect intended).
    I still think that Villa, who can play in any forward position unlike Ibra, is a better buy for Barca because he can suit their style of play better, being a very good passer, quick and skilful as well as a brilliant finisher. He's a better player than Ibra in my eyes.

    And now to catch my breath........ :D

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  • 51. At 9:18pm on 17 Jul 2009, Steve Kenya wrote:

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  • 52. At 9:40pm on 17 Jul 2009, Auqakuh1123 wrote:

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  • 53. At 9:43pm on 17 Jul 2009, Auqakuh1123 wrote:

    Who are these six English united players who have come through the ranks?? Brown (bit part player, utilitymake weight at best and usually injured), Fletcher (the player that would have beaten Barcelona!! Sure only picked for 1 game in 3 by Ferguson), O'Shea (you all think he's rubbish, because he is) That goalie, that is always injured? Are you still counting Scholes and Giggs? Surely you arent trying to have us beleive that Ferdinand and Rooney came through the ranks, or that Hargreaves 25 games in 2 years count? Please.
    United fans are deluded as to the emergence of youth, since the "kids" there hasnt been one star player. You are a buying club for the nig names, no different to Real, and thats okay. But you are bitter because you thought you were bigger than them and Ronaldo has broken your delusion.

    -------

    @torontored

    English players? O'Shea? Giggs? Fletcher?

    None of those three are English. Since you can't tell the difference between English, Scottish, and Irish, I don't think you can actually expect anyone to take your post seriously.

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  • 54. At 9:44pm on 17 Jul 2009, Monjo wrote:

    Interesting article. Three years without buying a megastar, so they buy three this year. It's a logic of sorts, but flawed/

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  • 55. At 10:39pm on 17 Jul 2009, sheffwed91 wrote:

    another good blog but i stil dont know y people insist to insult you

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  • 56. At 11:06pm on 17 Jul 2009, ron_will_be_missed wrote:

    maybe i am wrong but dont know why i get this irritating feeling.. that all Mihir Bose's blogs are targeted with utter stupid and turd comments without people even reading them properly.. all this just because he is a Bose and not a certain Robson or a Mcnulty or Strachan...

    Maybe i am wrong...

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  • 57. At 11:31pm on 17 Jul 2009, Barca4Life10 wrote:

    Mihir,

    Why are you so enamored with Perez? Hungary was in political turmoil at the time Bernabeau was president and Di Stefano and Puskas basically fell into his lap. Well, were out right stolen by the Madristas with help from the Royal family. Barca went after them, but it was no secret who the Royal family supported and therefore, who was going to acquire their services. Perez has the charm of a con-man. He is no statesman for the game or anything else for that matter. If your looking for a statesman you don't have to go further than your backyard...Wenger for one. Ancelloti, Zola, Ferguson. Then down to Barca w/Pep. His acknowledgment and dedication of the Champions League win to Maldini was pure class and grace. With 1 year into his Barca reign, I can't wait to see what comes next! Mes Que Un Club!

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  • 58. At 11:35pm on 17 Jul 2009, tiporama wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 59. At 00:07am on 18 Jul 2009, JobyJak wrote:

    Perez is making the same mistake he made last time when he did not win anything.

    He bought Beckham, Ronaldo and Zidane and sold Makelele, and then was shocked Real won nothing for 3 seasons. You cannot win with just attackers, that's like Man Utd selling Keane. Perez just doesn't get it.

    Now he has bought Ronaldo, Kaka and Benzema and not even looked at Vidic, Ferdinand or Terry.

    He is just like Doug Ellis, his plan will not work no matter how elaborate.

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  • 60. At 02:18am on 18 Jul 2009, RAZZLESTACK wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 61. At 02:41am on 18 Jul 2009, randommagician3 wrote:

    I agree with #33, please in future use subtitles instead of an interpreter talking over the video, firstly it is much clearer, and secondly for people who understand the language anyway it means they can listen to what Pérez is actually saying directly (as no translation is ever perfect, a point you make yourself in your blog Mihir.)

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  • 62. At 08:05am on 18 Jul 2009, ivowatson wrote:

    Statesman or not, the clue is he doesn't really know football (nor probably listens to his advisers) because by selling his most important player in Makelele, he blew it. I'm sure he's convinced he didn't make a mistake then.

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  • 63. At 08:13am on 18 Jul 2009, OwenInTheMiddle wrote:

    Real Madrid's energy resembles a viagra-driven session--it'll droop sooner than you think.

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  • 64. At 08:57am on 18 Jul 2009, kusheeka wrote:

    Personally, I believe Perez is a good sports states man. He knows what is good for Spanish clubs and when he gets a single chance to management, he always wants Madrid to rule not only Europe but the World. He has such a passion for his club and Nation.

    He loves Real Madrid, he loves La liga and he loves Spain so much that he can not see why the biggest football club could be any where else in the world other than in Spain no matter how much money it takes to have it his town.

    Its the reason he wants all football stars at the club he supports in the nation he most cherishes. You will find a few people of his determination in this sport.

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  • 65. At 09:35am on 18 Jul 2009, finnharpsman wrote:

    C'mon Barcelona

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  • 66. At 10:03am on 18 Jul 2009, Dawlish wrote:

    The proof of the strategic genius of Perez will be judged by how many people would flock to the Barnabeu and in front of their TV sets anytime Real Madrid plays any game the upcoming season...

    Just imagine a team with KAKA, Benzema and C. Ronaldo.. playing together... who would want to miss watching that game.. Beat Chelsea Vs Liverpool any day

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  • 67. At 10:04am on 18 Jul 2009, Steven Elikes-Cake wrote:

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  • 68. At 11:15am on 18 Jul 2009, boils wrote:

    What happened here?

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  • 69. At 11:52am on 18 Jul 2009, liberalbedwetter wrote:

    The problem is, if Real win things then what will people think?

    Will they think wow what a great achievement (Man Utd) - a superb tactical manager,(Wenger Morinho) a leader of men if you will, (Shankly) has galvanised a team, made players believe in themselves, reminded great ones who they are,(Hiddink) re-invigorated the appetites, made something of ordinary players (Clough)

    Er no, people will shrug their shoulders and say "so what" you spent a fortune, funds not available to other clubs, how is this really a contest? you should win, in fact you should win everything

    You won big deal, snore.

    And there you have it all the money in the world, all the Galacticos but the more you spend the more you turn the game into a shrug. What a typical businessman Perez is.

    He knows the price of everything and the value of nothing
    He can buy success but not glory

    oh and without a thought for the fact this money might be better spent elsewhere in hard economic times, that it might be quite insulting to those struggling to provide for their families.

    What a vulgar little man.


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  • 70. At 1:39pm on 18 Jul 2009, Moyseyside wrote:

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Flunkeys lined his every route and as he entered the hallway that led to the suite set aside for the interview. It was as if royalty was on its way."
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This should be one sentence Mihir - who edits the editors??? :)

    Also #25 - I agree, remember Everton coming 4th and LFC won the CL? They kicked up such a fuss about not being allowed to defend the trophy. The reality was they would have gone under without CL revenue (this was before Hicks and Gillett too remember). I hope City or Everton or whoever can finish top four, because once the cycle is broken it will change football.

    **AFC Wimbledon...keep your eyes peeled for them!!!!!**

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  • 71. At 1:47pm on 18 Jul 2009, SONNYD wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 72. At 1:49pm on 18 Jul 2009, lionihatethisgame wrote:

    "Real Madrid is the club of loyalty hence the term Real."

    No, "Real" means Royal. It's simply the name, as when Arsenal were called "Royal Arsenal".

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  • 73. At 1:56pm on 18 Jul 2009, dufcterror - I love the shimmy wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 74. At 2:21pm on 18 Jul 2009, Caludrup wrote:

    Good piece, cheers Mihir. The thing I wonder is how emphasis is put on the so called Madrid farm? It seems to me that the strength of that academy will determine the success of the project. We here of Arsenal, Liverpool, Man U competing for the best 16 year olds, do Real do the same across the world? If this is Ronaldo, Kaka, and Benzema lining up with a bunch of average B team promotions then I don't see how this can be any different from 5 years ago.

    This feels like a very big version of Leeds Utd stretching way too far (although I know Real won't be allowed to fall like that, but surely they're living beyond their means this time around).

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  • 75. At 2:32pm on 18 Jul 2009, Noblelox wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 76. At 4:12pm on 18 Jul 2009, liberalbedwetter wrote:

    um, since when was this blog a critical workshop on the work of Mihir Bose?

    I think its supposed to be about the issue of Real Madrid

    Hmm a lot of angry 30 somethings who haven't quite got over the beastly comments on their 'A' level essay papers all those years ago.

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  • 77. At 5:46pm on 18 Jul 2009, YoreLore wrote:

    @torontored

    English players? O'Shea? Giggs? Fletcher?

    None of those three are English. Since you can't tell the difference between English, Scottish, and Irish, I don't think you can actually expect anyone to take your post seriously.

    ---

    I could comment that Ireland is not part of Britain :) so when talking about British players you should only mention Scottish, Welsh and English.

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  • 78. At 6:41pm on 18 Jul 2009, Aarfy_Aardvark - bring back 606 wrote:

    So let's skip straight over the smug, condesending tone and just focus on the "Club Of Loyalty". Manchester United have six players who are British, have come through the junior ranks to play first team football and have been at the club for five years or more, how many Madrid players fit that role?

    ------------

    Sadly Real don't have many British players on the books anymore. Not least at youth level. However here's six Spanish players who have come through the RM cantera and into the first team.

    Casillas, Guti, Miguel Torres, de la Red, Parejo, Garcia...

    I love your fallacious hope though. Players like Guti, Raul and Casillas have all surpassed 300+ appearances for Real. In fact they are in the top 20 of players with the all-time record for appearances at the club. During the 90's you had players like Hierro, Sanchis, Chendo and Buyo - who again all have 300+ appearances for the club.

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  • 79. At 7:05pm on 18 Jul 2009, sounesstablishment007 wrote:

    English clubs are as much to blame for hiking up the prices as anybody. But now Real are spending more than them it's an 'outcry'?
    They at least have some homegrown players in among the galacticos.
    The English league has only 20% English players, yet now you are calling for wage-caps and rules for foreign imports?
    The EPL would be in serious trouble if these rules were brought in.
    The whole arguement reaks of double-standards and sour-grapes.

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  • 80. At 8:36pm on 18 Jul 2009, And Or wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 81. At 8:43pm on 18 Jul 2009, Auqakuh1123 wrote:

    @torontored

    English players? O'Shea? Giggs? Fletcher?

    None of those three are English. Since you can't tell the difference between English, Scottish, and Irish, I don't think you can actually expect anyone to take your post seriously.

    ---

    I could comment that Ireland is not part of Britain :) so when talking about British players you should only mention Scottish, Welsh and English.

    ---

    @Junglemanchild

    Who's talking about British players? I was saying that none of them are English. Which they aren't.

    @

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  • 82. At 8:45pm on 18 Jul 2009, Auqakuh1123 wrote:

    @Noblelox

    I don't think people question the waste of bandwidth half so much as the waste of licence fees. After all, we ARE paying the wages, the cost of travelling for the interview, and so on... the irony, I suppose, is that we then heap more cost into the balance by posting here to complain about it.

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  • 83. At 8:47pm on 18 Jul 2009, Jake Hadlee wrote:

    It's true the Spanish royal family haven't funded Real, but Franco did (as well as ensuring they "won" more games than they deserved).

    Contemptable club who have always bought success, whether that is through buying players or buying matches. Zero class.

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  • 84. At 8:49pm on 18 Jul 2009, Auqakuh1123 wrote:

    Real Madrid is the club of loyalty hence the term Real. As a club they feel theyre the football dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, theyve always been in the forefront. This is, as a concept, perhaps difficult to understand for an English fan but for a Real or Barcelona fan, football is more than a game and Perez epitomizes this.

    ---

    @guyastral

    You have a great point there. I mean, English football fans rarely show any passion at all. Compared to a Spanish crowd, they barely sing, do they?

    Oh, wait...

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  • 85. At 8:54pm on 18 Jul 2009, -SAVE 606-Blueboyrob wrote:

    As far as I am concerned, if you have the money then spend it. Their are individuals in our world who are far greedier with their wealth and who used much worse methods in acquring it.
    Madrid are using their money in the way they see fit, whether or not it will bring footballing sucsess depends largely on the acquisiton of Xabi Alonso I think.

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  • 86. At 11:17pm on 18 Jul 2009, Alex wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 87. At 11:52pm on 18 Jul 2009, SummersIron wrote:

    Auqakuh1123,

    Wow. I had no idea that the entire license fee went straight to Mihir Bose.

    Seriously, the man probably owes you personally about a third of a pence.

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  • 88. At 11:55pm on 18 Jul 2009, SummersIron wrote:

    What? Pre-moderation? In that case, Auqakuh1123 and others, you can insult the man all you want. Completely unnecessary.

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  • 89. At 02:15am on 19 Jul 2009, praky69 wrote:

    i think a move from epl to madrid is a curse for epl players..for example: beckham and owen..and being a man. united fan, just want to see what happens to ronaldo.. :D

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  • 90. At 04:10am on 19 Jul 2009, amykhan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 91. At 10:58am on 19 Jul 2009, reddevilrising wrote:

    You see, i don't have a problem with spending rediculous somes of money on a player, not at all. If that is the price you have to pay to win everything, then so be it. But what i do have a problem with, is a club which has not earned that money, which sells its training facilities to the state for double what its worth, and then buys it back for a pound. A club which takes money from a country, which in all fairness isn't as well developed as its european counterparts, when the money can be spent on much more important things, especially in todays climate. A club that will then go on to win everything and claim they are 'The Greatest Football Club to ever walk the earth'.

    Another thing that frustrates me is how, if Man City or Chelsea offer big somes of money for one player, Sepp Blatter and his croney, Platini, will pipe up start mentioning the world economy etc. etc. and how clubs should'nt be spending so much on a player. But when Real Madrid do it, that is a completley different story all together. This biased and onesided view is the thing that will ruin the beautiful game, not money. Money should only enhance it.

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  • 92. At 11:39am on 19 Jul 2009, Zulu Warrior wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 93. At 11:54am on 19 Jul 2009, Uroboros wrote:

    When comparing with the transfers of di Stefano and Puskas we should take into account the inflated value of the money. There is very little difference and Perez is right to make the comparison.

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  • 94. At 1:04pm on 19 Jul 2009, amigoamericano wrote:

    83. At 8:47pm on 18 Jul 2009, jakehadlee wrote:

    It's true the Spanish royal family haven't funded Real, but Franco did (as well as ensuring they "won" more games than they deserved).
    -----------------------------------------

    Not true. Actually there are many historic evidences that prove the contrary, as the fact Real had to get rid of the excellent Luis Del Sol http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_del_Sol ,(mister three lungs), in one of their best ages, just two seasons after winning their fifth European Cup and when they won the league almost for fun. How so? Because of financial problems, the player had to be sold to Juventus. Obviously that affected the team's performances in Europe.

    It's also a well known fact that the money coming from quinielas (polls) was barely invested in football and their outcome for the clubs were derisory, some aspect that was always criticized by Real Madrid directors. Also, TV coverage of Real Madrid games made that the club didn't sell as many tickets as they used to (Bernabeu had just built the biggest stadium in Europe back in 1947 just with money coming from socios, the owners of the club), and the money offered instead for letting the cameras get inside the stadium never recovered the loss, and even some of the agreements reached to compensate a part of that loss were broken unilaterally by the national TV.

    As for the referees. Another myth, Real had a great team back then and they didn't need any external help to triumph on the pitch. Still there is not any evidence of what you just stated.

    ---------------------------------------------------

    Contemptable club who have always bought success, whether that is through buying players or buying matches. Zero class.

    ---------------------------------------------------

    Again, not true. Real Madrid have built great great teams with huge help coming from the academy, almost at a point very few teams in football have ever done. One of those generations coming from the academy even reached the Cup final which was played against Real Madrid. Such a brilliant core of players that the stadium would get filled even when at Castilla (Real Madrid reserves)

    Many people like to talk about Real Madrid because it's a big, for some the biggest, football club in the world. But that doesn't mean they necessarily know something about it. In fact, The big big majority barely know something. Once again it's been proved what a few Barca pamphlets can do. I blame the envious club FC Barcelona, a great club themselves, however minimized by their own victimism. It's a shame.

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  • 95. At 1:21pm on 19 Jul 2009, amigoamericano wrote:

    reddevilrising wrote:

    "But what i do have a problem with, is a club which has not earned that money"

    ----------------

    Has not earned the money? Why exactly? Because the money comes from loans? In that case no club in the world ever earns the money, Manchester United included.

    ----------------

    "which sells its training facilities to the state for double what its worth, and then buys it back for a pound."

    ----------------

    That's simply not true. Those training facilities were not sold to the state, neither they were sold for double what it's worth (key word, "justiprecio", dodgy translation being "fair price"), neither they were bought by a pound.

    Source? European Commission report regarding this issue.

    ----------------

    "A club which takes money from a country, which in all fairness isn't as well developed as its european counterparts, "

    ----------------

    Not true, the first part of your statement obviously. In any case if your comment is referred to bank loans, you should listen to the Caja Madrid main's advisor explanations saying how the club's state from the economic point of view is solid enough to take the loans, and how "Real Madrid have always paid the money being given with interests at time". In any case, this bank has also finances Atletico de Madrid and Getafe. In the same way la Caixa does the same with Barcelona.

    ----------------

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  • 96. At 8:14pm on 19 Jul 2009, hackenjack wrote:

    The glory days of Bernabeu... you mean when Franco's government prevented Barcelona from signing anyone by leaning on them and Real Madrid got the best players... when the club's reputation was established by the direct intervention of a fascist dictatorship because they were Franco's favourite team? Yes, this is the shameful basis of legend of Real Madrid; shame on any player who wants to follow in the 'glory' established in those times.

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  • 97. At 8:27pm on 19 Jul 2009, Virtuet wrote:


    I strongly believe that footballing battles should be won on the field and not off it. I am a huge fan of the Gunners, and it is because their football is based on ethical principles well within the means and ethos of the club. It is beautiful football that is bred and cultivated by Arsene Wenger and not bought off Christie's auction. Same goes for player salaries.....the market is turning a footballer into a greedy businessman pawning off his skills.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have a programme for the emirattes tournament last year. There were four clubs in it Arsenal, Hamburg, Juventus and Real Madrid. It gave details of the squads Arsenal had one local lad Londoner Walcot who did not come up through in the Arsenal Youth System, Juventus and Hamburg had none. Real Madrid had five Local lads in their squad including loyal players like Cassillas, Raul and Guiti, Del la Red and Torres also lifelong players who came up through the Youth system like Solgrado came from outside Madrid but have stayed at Madrid throughout their playing carreer.
    There ia a lot unbalanced reporting about Real Madrid only recently their Youth team won the World Youth Club again its not mentioned imagine if Man U had won it everyone would be saying a brilliant Youth system they've got.

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  • 98. At 02:42am on 20 Jul 2009, amigoamericano wrote:

    96. At 8:14pm on 19 Jul 2009, hackenjack wrote:

    The glory days of Bernabeu... you mean when Franco's government prevented Barcelona from signing anyone by leaning on them and Real Madrid got the best players... when the club's reputation was established by the direct intervention of a fascist dictatorship because they were Franco's favourite team? Yes, this is the shameful basis of legend of Real Madrid; shame on any player who wants to follow in the 'glory' established in those times.

    -------------------------------------
    Again, there is not evidence that the regime prevented Barcelona from signing the best players. In the case of Di Stefano the problem had more to do with the fact the catalans refused to pay the amount Millonarios de Bogota asked for the Argentine. Even the blaugranas tried to get rid of the player by selling him to Juventus, something he didn't accept of course as he describes in his own biography. People inside the club wrote negative reports on the player during his time there and Madrid did pay River, Millonarios and Barcelona to sign him.

    There is evidence that the regime helped Barcelona sign Ladislao Kubala, who was even used with Samitier for their anti communist propaganda.

    There is not such thing as evidence of direct intervention from the regime, the only thing the regime would do was using the image of the club for their propaganda.

    There is not evidence whatsoever that Madrid were Franco's favourite club. Some historians think it was Deportivo de la Coruna or Atletico de Aviacion (what do experts in this forum know about Atletico de Aviacion?).

    Once again, people, especially in English forums and blogs know barely anything about Real Madrid.

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  • 99. At 02:44am on 20 Jul 2009, amigoamericano wrote:

    I agree that there is a lot of negative reporting on Real Madrid in the English media. Not sure if there is some kind of agenda behind. I'm starting to suspect so of late.

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  • 100. At 1:51pm on 20 Jul 2009, furiousStGeorge wrote:

    The silence from Platini and Blatter is deafening. Mihir's blog on 27 November 2008 stating that Platini was not anti English and we are just being paranoid looks very silly now. Platini and Blatters constant griping at English footballs big spending, debt levels, too many foreign players etc etc followed by their critism of Man City for the attempted signing of Kaka, seems not to apply to Spanish football, where RM can splash out over £200m in one summer (more to come, Alonso?) without any apparent concern from the two most powerful men in world football. In fact they're probably busy buying RM season tickets, celebrating as much as they did when Barca beat United in CL final (I swear i saw Platini doing cartwheels when the final whislte went).
    Also, I realise our FA are a bunch of incompitent (and probably incontinent) old snobby duffers who seem to be able to upset every memeber of FIFA and UEFA. But for this country, with it's history and traditions of football, to not have hosted the world cup for over 48 years (it'll be 2018 at the earliest) is a disgrace, and something i can not see ever changing while Blatter and Platini are in charge.

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  • 101. At 1:52pm on 20 Jul 2009, cbg0730 wrote:

    Barca4Life10 wrote:

    "Why are you so enamored with Perez? Hungary was in political turmoil at the time Bernabeau was president and Di Stefano and Puskas basically fell into his lap. Well, were out right stolen by the Madristas with
    help from the Royal family. !"

    Di Stefano hungarian?
    And... ther was no "Royal family" during Franco's dictatorship because... well, it was a dictatorship.
    You have been fed with the usual catalan victimistic bullshit. There was no club that Franco helped more than FC Barcelona. Hence the gold&diamond FCB insignia. Do you know about Les Corts plot? I am sure you don't.

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  • 102. At 2:05pm on 20 Jul 2009, cbg0730 wrote:

    amigoamericano wrote:

    "There is not evidence whatsoever that Madrid were Franco's favourite club. Some historians think it was Deportivo de la Coruna or Atletico de Aviacion (what do experts in this forum know about Atletico de Aviacion?).

    Once again, people, especially in English forums and blogs know barely anything about Real Madrid."

    I know it. Atético Aviación were the army's team. They changed the name to Atético de Madrid some years after the civil war.

    As if it wasn't enought to fight against the catalan propaganda, now add the newly created british animosity.

    Barcelona in the late 50's and early 60's had 3 top hungarian players:
    Kubala, Kocsis and Czibor (but hey!, these were acquired in style, unlike Puskás, right?)
    Same now, they (FCB) are willing to pay 45 million euro + Eto'o + Hleb on loan, but if you read spanish media, that is another stylish signing.

    Item plus: Platini silent?? He had been talking about how much he dislikes what Real Madrid are doing for several weeks. I guess is not of the interest of the british media to publish his words in order to feed the hostile feeling.

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  • 103. At 3:29pm on 20 Jul 2009, amigoamericano wrote:

    cbg0730 wrote:

    "You have been fed with the usual catalan victimistic bullshit. There was no club that Franco helped more than FC Barcelona. Hence the gold&diamond FCB insignia. Do you know about Les Corts plot? I am sure you don't."

    -------------------------

    You've just made me remember the Operacion Torreblanca. For those who are not in the know, it was an attempt by Bernabeu to build a stadium in a different area in Madrid during the 70s by rezoning the terrains where the Real Madrid stadium lies today, just a few years after Barcelona successfully saw terrains in Les Corts be rezoned. The magazine Temas de Arquitectura y Urbanismo (architecture and urbanism) and its director Lopez-Doriga saw this operation as highly recommendable, benefiting and viable for the city. The club thought that there should not be any kind of obstacles to see the agreement sealed as the terrains had been bought back in an age when it was possible to build on them and the existence of precedents (FC Barcelona and Les Corts) which stopped the cules from going bankrupted.

    The francoist newspaper Arriba was one of the fiercest opponents against, especially those articles signed by Antonio Izquierdo. Luis Pascual Estevill also joined this opinion movement on Diario ABC (always close to the regime interests). Francoist Arias Navarro and Garcia-Lomas, Madrid mayors back then, also refused to take the project in consideration.

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  • 104. At 3:42pm on 20 Jul 2009, Moutarde wrote:

    Oh dear, I hope this doesn't mean Perez is another Stanford, the last rich bloke you were enamoured with.

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  • 105. At 4:31pm on 20 Jul 2009, David wrote:

    Another away day, love to see your expenses. Must have been no cricket on this day as well.

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  • 106. At 6:06pm on 20 Jul 2009, rs wrote:

    It is very typical Platini is so quiet now, after he went on and on about our game and all thats wrong with it, Real Madrid buy a lot of foreign players and low and behold he says nothing at all.

    All it means is his original comments were truly bias for no good reason.

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  • 107. At 7:47pm on 20 Jul 2009, amigoamericano wrote:

    pinnicleoffruit wrote:

    "It is very typical Platini is so quiet now, after he went on and on about our game and all thats wrong with it, Real Madrid buy a lot of foreign players and low and behold he says nothing at all.

    All it means is his original comments were truly bias for no good reason."

    --------------------------------

    But he did say things on it.

    The problem with Platini is that when he speaks it's not totally clear what his point is in the first place. If the problem is national players, Real Madrid do have Raul, Guti, Casillas, Salgado, Miguel Torres, Negredo, Sergio Ramos, Albiol, Javi Garcia, Adan and Parejo with the majority of them coming from the academy. They also had academy player De la Red until he started to suffer heart problems and might get the also academy player Granero back from Getafe too. Who knows if Alonso and Arbeloa (again academy player) will join this squad soon too? This all means Madrid is hardly an Arsenal.

    If what he wants is a system to assure clubs spend on players according to what they earn merely via ticketing, marketing and TV the most benefited club right would turn out to be... Real Madrid. What Platini doesn't seem to like is owners spending big on clubs that didn't "earn" that right on the pitch previously such as Manchester City or Chelsea.

    But Platini is hardly the brightest tool in the box.

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  • 108. At 01:24am on 21 Jul 2009, Auqakuh1123 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 109. At 11:26am on 21 Jul 2009, Rolf McHarris wrote:

    No problems with the blog, Mihir, but an interpreter??

    Can't the BBC afford/employ a sports journo who speaks Spanish then?

    We're in Europe, BBC, it's time you noticed!

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  • 110. At 11:42am on 21 Jul 2009, NEMANJA_15 wrote:

    Interesting blog, but didn't find out much. Personally I think that this team will win nothing this season, and will only get to the quarters at best in the Champions League, they're full of individuals but will not be a great team. I thought spending was bad in football, but thiis is a whole new level, so nothing would be more enjoyable than watching this fail.

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  • 111. At 1:13pm on 21 Jul 2009, alwaysindoubt wrote:

    "His decision to respond in Spanish is a sure sign of a politician who wants to be sure of what he is saying in the language he is most comfortable."

    I suspect it is more likely to be a psychological device aimed at establishing him as the superior party in the interview. It means you have to make all the effort to be a part of the conversation. It also makes it harder to seek clarification or question his answers further.

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  • 112. At 2:28pm on 22 Jul 2009, PottsyPotter wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 113. At 2:50pm on 23 Jul 2009, daisydaisygive wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 114. At 8:57pm on 24 Jul 2009, goonergetit wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 115. At 9:06pm on 24 Jul 2009, goonergetit wrote:

    Ronaldo is good business? 80 zillion, in three years time he'll be worth how much ? 250 gazillion? Most likely at 26 years old he'll be worth double ? Most likely. That's 80 zillion profit in three years if Un-Real Madrid sell him. Pay his wages etc, shirts etc, Real will make a profit on him ? even more if they win trophies. Alex Ferguson bought Rooney, will he cost Man Utd a cent ? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

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  • 116. At 9:45pm on 24 Jul 2009, goonergetit wrote:

    The Stephen Gerrard incident on CCTV, having scored two goals that day and feeling euphoricly powerful and wanting to let everyone hear his version of what they should be listening to, rather similar to life in North Korea, has been found not guilty for punching out the lights of an innocent person with the double shuffle first inflicted by Ali. Does Perez have the same power over the population of the Iberian peninsula ? Are there any BBC journalists that are unbiased and are prepared to report this matter in the context that it warrants. Stephen Gerrard knows me on first name terms! What can I write? Where is the real power of Perez?

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  • 117. At 10:06pm on 24 Jul 2009, goonergetit wrote:

    If Stephen Gerrard is innocent, then how do I know that if Arsenal win 2-1 on a saturday afternoon and Ronaldo has scored a goal, is it for Real ?

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  • 118. At 8:12pm on 04 Aug 2009, jhfgdsaw wrote:

    Mihir has left the building

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  • 119. At 11:53am on 05 Aug 2009, Malcolm wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 120. At 11:56am on 05 Aug 2009, thinkstuff wrote:

    I'm sure we'll all miss the jousts we had, had you only ever replied.

    There's a scoop on Sport without Spin already, I see...

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  • 121. At 7:49pm on 05 Aug 2009, stopthepress wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 122. At 04:00am on 06 Aug 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Mihir:

    I have no problems with Mr. Perez with spending in the improvement of the
    team...

    ~Dennis Junior~

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  • 123. At 5:38pm on 06 Aug 2009, markyrobs wrote:

    Mihir - just heard the news - Best laugh I've heard all week! See ya!

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  • 124. At 5:39pm on 06 Aug 2009, markyrobs wrote:

    Oh yes - bet the moderators are pleased as well - you must have created more work for them than all the other bloggers on the BBC!

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  • 125. At 10:50pm on 09 Aug 2009, jmb wrote:

    Can I have your job...?

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  • 126. At 10:53pm on 10 Sep 2009, dokieh wrote:

    Fantastic interview. You were closer than some other 'journalists' here in Spain, who don't ask him many questions about his deals with Banco Santander, or simply they don't ask them anything. And that's the main matter someone should take into account when analysing this new Real Madrid.

    http://spanishlaliga.wordpress.com/

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  • 127. At 5:11pm on 10 Nov 2009, Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso wrote:

    This was a great interview. It must be remembered that Real is just a name. Real Salt Lake for example is a US Football [Soccer] team which is the sister to Real Madrid.

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