Florentino Perez Is Real Madrid’s Biggest Problem4 min read
A year or so ago, Cristiano Ronaldo sent shockwaves through the world of football when he admitted he wanted to leave Real Madrid in the immediate aftermath of their Champions League final victory over Liverpool.
In the days afterwards, a clear indication that his tempestuous relationship with club president, Florentino Perez, had finally broken down was one of the main reasons given for the Portuguese’s departure.
It followed an alleged promise from Perez to honour an agreement made with the player over his contract and salary which hadn’t been forthcoming.
With trust between Los Blancos’ talisman and the president completely evaporated, the only sensible decision was to, eventually, let him move on.
Fast forward to the present day and it’s Groundhog Day again at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Club captain, Sergio Ramos, is allegedly so fed up with the president that he now wants to take up a lucrative offer in China.
The issue appears to stem from Perez’s continuous criticism of his captain, who he blames for Real not being able to secure a fourth consecutive Champions League.
Ramos ill-advisedly got himself intentionally booked in the first leg of Real’s European tie against Ajax, believing that his team-mates had more than enough about them to progress, and thus meaning that Ramos’ yellow cards would be wiped clean for the next round.
Without the 33-year-old to drive them forward, Los Blancos were like a ship without a rudder and were well beaten by the young and vibrant Dutch side.
Florentino Perez has hardly spoken to Ramos since, but has made no secret of his ire towards the player within the corridors of power.
Like Ronaldo before him, and also Iker Casillas and Raul before that, another of Real’s big names wants out and will leave under a cloud.
Managerially, the club isn’t in the best shape either. Perez has brought Zinedine Zidane back into the fold, but it can’t be said that he’s been a success second time around.
The president’s judgment came into question twice last season with the appointments of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, and should Zidane start 2019/20 the way he ended 2018/19, then Perez will be looking for a fourth manager in 18 months or so.
Throwing money at ‘galactico’ signings – as will happen again this summer – is the perfect riposte to any criticism of the man in charge.
However, it only masks a problem that is systematically ensuring that Real Madrid’s best players no longer wish to give their all for the club.