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How Florentino Perez became the best president in football 

“The Anomaly in the world of football…the man who changed football sitting in the stands whilst smoking a cigarette” ~ Markaroni

Florentino Pérez Rodríguez, The president of Real Madrid, born on March 8, 1947, in Madrid, Spain, is a prominent figure in both the business and sporting worlds. Best known as the president of Real Madrid Club de Fútbol.

Pérez has left an indelible mark on the footballing landscape. Serving as the club’s president in two separate stints, first from 2000 to 2006 and then from 2009 onwards, Winning a grand total of 33 trophies which included many UCLs, Pérez is credited with pioneering the “Galácticos” era, characterized by the signing of high-profile players to elevate Real Madrid’s global stature And is hence termed the greatest president in football. 

The greatest president of Real Madrid Club de Fútbol

THE HISTORY:- Who is Florentino Perez?

Before we explore how Florentino Perez became The president of Real Madrid, let’s have a look at his early life:- Florentino Perez was born on March 8, 1947, into a middle-class Spanish family, he hailed from a lineage of businessmen. It was this environment that largely shaped his career trajectory. 

Initially far from the world of business, Perez attended film school, where, had circumstances been different, he might have pursued a career in acting, much like an iconic villain of Bollywood Amrish Puri However, he eventually decided to study civil engineering, setting the stage for his future endeavors.

The most interesting aspect of Perez’s probable journey begins here, during his university days. His disciplines included technical precision and large-scale planning, focusing on construction projects with long-duration plans. 

Involving strategic vision, long-term planning, and efficient resource management were the very concepts Perez studied during his college days

Right after finishing his studies, he made his foray into the world of politics. Present in almost every sector in Spain – from technological development to transportation infrastructure to the Ministry of Agriculture – within the next 15 years, Perez was navigating through these industries. 

Simultaneously, he initiated his own business ventures, becoming a major shareholder in a prominent construction company, ACS, one of the largest in the world. Florentino Perez became the CEO and Chairman of this company, which further elevated his status & made him a billionaire. 

Perez’s & Real Madrid:- The first tenure

“The love story between Real Madrid & Florentino Perez began in 1995” ~Markaroni

The love story between Real Madrid and Florentino Perez began in 1995 when, after settling into his business and political roles, Perez decided to run for the presidency of Real Madrid. 

He contested elections against Ramon Mendoza and lost. But because the club had only won one significant La Liga title in the previous five years and was facing economic struggles, Ramon had to resign. & in place of him, Lorenzo Sanz who was the director of the club before this became the new president

In the next election, Perez wanted to try again & was waiting for the right opportunity. But under Lorenzo, over just four seasons, Real Madrid managed to secure one La Liga title and two Champions League victories, establishing a strong position to win the Champions League again. 

Under Lorenzo’s tenure, Real Madrid had already won two Champions League titles in the last three seasons, and Lorenzo thought if he conducted the election earlier than usual his win in the next elections was guaranteed.

But he was wrong, Florentino Perez who contested him in the next elections highlighted something apart from sporting matters that the previous presidents were hiding from the public & it was that the club was not able to fill its stadium despite being Champions League winners. 

The average attendance was declining season by season. It seemed like fans weren’t concerned whether their team won on the field; the victories were not translating into an audience they weren’t coming to watch the matches

The second thing that Perez highlighted was the club’s economic status, how despite Real Madrid’s sporting success, with 500 million dollars of debt, there was a debt that if not cleared in time, could bankrupt Real Madrid. But where both matters are equally important in themselves, 

The Luis Figo Saga 

“Madrid fans didn’t care about Real Madrid… they just wanted Luis Figo” ~Markaroni

Florentino Perez made a third promise to the people that at that time, one of the biggest players in football, Luis Figo. The one who was currently playing for Real Madrid’s biggest arch-rival, Barcelona, Figo wasn’t just an ordinary player for Barcelona, he was their dear leader, their main man, and their best football player. 

Florentino Perez promised Real Madrid fans that if he became the president of Real Madrid, he would sign Luis Figo from Barcelona & hearing this every real fan at the time went bonkers.

Real Madrid fans were so delighted that they didn’t care about their empty stadium and economic structure. They wanted Figo. Real Madrid had already won two Champions League titles in the last three seasons, so when their fans say that if I become the president, I will show you more success, what kind of useless thing is this, but here Florentino Perez promised Real Madrid fans “the use of power”. 

They were not signing Figo because the team needed him. They were signing Figo because they wanted to humiliate Barcelona. Everyone felt that Florentino Perez was lying to gain power. When Figo was asked if this was true, Figo publicly denied it and said that he was a Barcelona player and he would remain there.

But in the next interview, Florentino Perez dropped another bomb when he promised everyone that if he couldn’t sign Figo, he would pay the 80000 members’ membership fee for the coming year’s elections. With 94% votes in the next year’s elections, Florentino Perez won the election, and guess what? Real Madrid signs Figo. 

From one football transfer, such conflicts arise within Spain that the next time El Clasico happens, fans welcome Figo as if anyone else was to witness it, he will just piss his pants. And during all this, Florentino Perez sits in the stands laughing. And now a very genuine question will come to your mind, why did Figo join Real Madrid? If he was doing more than just fine at Barcelona

“Perez was simply once again just a smart businessman”~ Markaroni

He made a deal with Luis Figo where he gave him 1.5 million dollars before the election. The deal was that if Florentino Perez lost his election, Figo could keep that 1.5 million as a gift. But if Florentino Perez won the election, Figo would have to join Real Madrid, and if he refused to join Real Madrid, then Florentino would have to pay 35 million dollars to Florentino Perez.

The Galacticos 

Figo’s buy-out clause is then triggered, leading to a world record transfer. Just the beginning, Florentino Perez promised the fans that he was going to build a team of “Zidanes y Pavones” now famously known as The Galacticos, which means a team of only the best football players on the planet who will play for Real Madrid. He promised the fans he would sign a world-class player at the start of every season.

In 2000, Luis Figo, in 2000-2001 Zinedine Zidane, in 2002 Ronaldo, in 2003 David Beckham, Florentino Perez fulfilled the promise he made. Within the first three seasons, the average attendance of Real Madrid had doubled. 

Even financially to lift the burden Perez made 2 big decisions, The first was selling the original training camp of Real Madrid which was located right in the heart of the city even if you visit madrid now you’ll notice the 3 tall skyscrapers built on the exact position where Real Madrid’s first training camp used to be. 

Florentino Perez not only cleared all of Real Madrid’s debt but with the leftover money, in the outskirts of the city where the land was cheap, he built a training camp five times bigger than the previous one. 

The next thing that Florentino Perez did was not only bring in superstars to fill the stadium again but he also greatly increased Real Madrid’s marketing ability. Real Madrid started going on tours, their international brand value increased, and as they kept signing players, their marketing revenue kept increasing.

Within just four seasons, Real Madrid’s marketing revenue had quadrupled. Even on the field, Real Madrid won two La Liga titles and one Champions League within the next three seasons. Real Madrid fans made Florentino Perez their god.  The club had come out of debt. Sporting success was more than before, the stadium was fuller, and more revenue was being generated. Real Madrid was set for life

“Florentino Perez was obsessed with attackers, and because of this obsession, he completely neglected the defense” ~ Markaroni

In 2003, when Real Madrid won the league, their on-pitch maestro, who was so responsible for handling Real Madrid’s defense, Claude Makélélé who at that time was not only Real’s best CDM but was one of the best in the whole world & it was due to him that Real Madrid could field all of these star forwards but he was one of the most underpaid players in the squad & when he complained about this to Perez & demanded a salary increase Perez denied that leading to which Claude Makélélé leaves Real for Chelsea in 2003

But it was not just this, the one handling this star-studded team, all those egos, the manager Vicente Del Bosque It is said that all these superstars The signing was done without his consent And within some of the signings his Input was not even taken & in 2003 1 week after winning the league the manager who was responsible for all of this has his renewal canceled & is let go of for free

After the departure of Del Bosque and Makelele, Real Madrid’s on-field performance saw a significant drop. Over the next three seasons, Florentino Perez brings in five different managers with the hope of fixing things, but all of it proves useless & due to the past three years of on-field failure.

Florentino Perez decides to resign as the president of Real Madrid.

“Right after 3 years of Perez resigning they fall into debt again”~ Markaroni

After this Calderon became the next president of Real Madrid and Perez left, the team that Perez built went on to win the La Liga title the very next season. During this duration, another mistake Florentino Perez makes is rejecting the signing of Ronaldinho. 

Reports suggest that Florentino Perez rejected signing Ronaldo for Real Madrid just because he didn’t seem good-looking enough & was ugly. I mean, if Florentino Perez still operated with the same policy today, then our dear Vinicius jr would still be sweeping the floors in a Favela. I mean, no hard feelings. I’m just saying, Perez’s logic is not mine. 

Where in one place, for three consecutive seasons, Real Madrid struggles on the pitch, Ronaldinho becomes the greatest football player in the world. As we learned from Perez’s case, if there’s one thing Real Madrid fans love more than success, it’s that they always want to be above their arch-rivals Barcelona.

But as Calderon comes into power, Real Madrid’s finances start faltering once again. Calderon gets accused of fixing the voting in elections & of embezzlement. In Calderon’s presidency, Real Madrid was eliminated from the round of 16 of the Champions League for the sixth time. Just three years after Perez’s departure, Real Madrid once again fell into debt.  

Perez’s Comeback:- The Second Tenure 

“Then to Real Madrid fans there seemed only one solution which was FLORENTINO PEREZ“~ Markaroni

On June 1, 2009, Florentino Perez began his second tenure as the president of Real Madrid, a tenure after which he became the most successful president in the history of Real Madrid. 

After Calderon’s reign, to clear the debt of Real Madrid, this time Florentino Perez does not sell anything, but he takes more loans. With this loan, Florentino Perez makes more signings, hoping Real Madrid’s on-field success will pay off their off-field mistakes.

Within just three days, signings are made for Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema, Xabi Alonso, and all these players. In the upcoming windows, Angel Di Maria, Mesut Ozil, Luka Modric, and Gareth Bale are signed.

After the return of Perez, in the first season, Real Madrid didn’t win any trophies, but after that, they won the Copa del Rey, La Liga title, and then in the 2013-14 season, they won the Copa del Rey and Champions League. 

After winning the Champions League in 2014, completing La Decima, Real Madrid became the first club in the history of football to complete 10 Champions League titles.  It’s a big boost to Florentino Perez’s image, but it gets even better…

The Three-Peat 

“Florentino Perez establishes himself as the greatest Real Madrid president of all time“~ Markaroni

From 2015 to 2018, Real Madrid won the Champions League three times. All of Real Madrid’s on-field success under Florentino Perez not only helps them handle their debts but also turns them into one of the most financially stable clubs of the 21st century. Between 2019 and 2023, within four seasons, Real Madrid won eight trophies, including their 14th Champions League title. 

Under Florentino Pérez Real Madrid won 6 La Ligas & 6 UCLs, This means Florentino Perez outnumbered Santiago Bernabeu’s trophies and became the most successful president in the history of Real Madrid. That too with 14 years less of the presidency.

Now The stadium has been rebuilt and investment is made for the future with the hope that in the coming time, they will hit a prime together and the Galacticos will be reborn at Real Madrid itself.

After the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009, Florentino Perez hinted at a Super League, a statement that was a joke for most people at that time, but after 13 years, it created the most unraveling moment in football history.

“Florentino Perez knows how to control & work with the media like no one else“~ Markaroni

In 2013, Florentino Perez banned Real Madrid’s Ultra group “ULTRA SUR”, not just because this group promotes violence, but also because discrimination was in their blood. 

Florentino Perez assembles a new Ultra group, agreeing with the South Stand’s fans of Bernabeu that they will support the team standing for the entire 90 minutes. 

Due to all this, the Ultras of Real Madrid, who still believed in the traditional way of supporting Real Madrid, set down in enmity with Perez, threatening him with death.

Not only that, Florentino Perez is a master of controlling the media, surrounding Real Madrid with as many media hubs as possible. 

Florentino Perez actively participates with them, providing news himself so that he can be in control of him, and in exchange, for Real Madrid fans, you will hardly hear any negative news, even if things are going south for them.

Conclusion

Florentino Perez is not the owner of Real Madrid. If tomorrow, Real Madrid becomes bankrupt, then Perez will not have to endure any repercussions. 

But in all these years, whatever he has done for Real Madrid, it clearly proves that he is the biggest Madridista in all of this world, the mastermind behind their future, and in the end, He is Real Madrid’s ace of spades 

What do you think?

Written by Markaroni

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