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Leagues: La Liga

The departures of Ozil and Di Maria prove Florentino Perez sometimes gets it right


When Real Madrid President, calls a meeting about transfers heads usually turn as to who will be shown the back door next at the Bernabeu in exchange for a large check. 

Perez, who first became Real’s President in 2000, is of course infamous for creating the so called ‘Galactico’s’, buying a star player every season. But a few years into his presidency he let Claude Makelele leave the club without hesitation. For him Makelele wasn’t a galactic – how could he be in a midfield that included Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo?

However, what Perez failed to notice is that when aforementioned players were turning on the style it was Makelele who was keeping the engine ignited. Makelele was sold to Chelsea and Real Madrid won nothing for four seasons.

Perez quit and the club won back-to-back leagues under Vincente Cauldron’s presidency. Perez was soon back on board and continued to buy up the very best talent. But he has become more cautious in who gets sold now.

Alvaro Morata was one player who when sold to Juventus did raise eyebrows given that he was a Real Madrid player through the youth system and a promising prospect, then there is the messy exit of club legend Iker Casillas just this year.

Perez is doing everything to keep influential defender Sergio Ramos at the club who wants to join Manchester United. In Perez’s first term this situation would have been sorted in a flick of a pen and Ramos would now be wearing the red shirt of the English club.

When Perez sold Mesut Ozil and then Angel Di Maria to Arsenal and Manchester United respectively there was shock that he was breaking up a great team yet again. Xabi Alonso then a Madrid player voiced his shock at Ozil’s departure and Ramos himself was in disbelief that Di Maria had been sold.

But have either player made an impact with their new clubs and have Real honestly missed them?

Ozil has won two FA Cups with Arsenal, but at a transfer fee of £40m, a club record for the Gunners – a league challenge was expected so were a few more goals – Ozil has just 12 goals in all competitions.

But Di Maria is perhaps Juan Veron Mark II at United. He was supposed to be the bankable Ferrari for new coach Louis van Gaal but ended up nothing more than scrap metal and will surely be forgotten for his time with the club

It’s not as if Di Maria had a horrific season with the Red Devils, he just made no impact for a player that cost £60m. Perhaps the writing was on the wall when in his debut game against Burnley he was substituted for Anderson.

However, for six weeks starting in September, Di Maria was in fine form but then picked up an injury and after returning was unable to recapture any moments of magic. His star had faded nine months into a five-year contract.

It came as no surprise when just a season later he was sold to French champions PSG, at a loss to United of around £15m.

Perhaps Di Maria will be able to find the magic in his boots with his new club, the English media seem to think so with the idea that the French league will be a step down for the Premier League.

As for Ozil and Arsenal they are complimenting each other, domestic cup wins are reflective of a player who looks brilliant one week but not the next and no consistency means no title.

Perez made £100m from the sales of two players, who one suspects wouldn’t have changed the circumstances for Real Madrid had they stayed with the club.

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  1. David Bronstein

    August 12, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Sorry 35m euros more.

  2. Neal

    August 12, 2015 at 4:42 am

    Ozil has been a very important player for us. Criticising him for lack of goals is stupid. He scored 19 league goals in 3 seasons for Real.

    • David Bronstein

      August 12, 2015 at 8:15 am

      Thanks for your comment. He cost Real Madrid 15m euros, and was a steal for them. The argument is that he cost Arsenal 35m euros and hasn’t improved as a player. He was the club’s record signing and was expected to elevate the team not stabize them.

  3. Alex

    August 12, 2015 at 3:45 am

    Very funny insight about Özil, a player who got injured for many months in two seasons (4 last season), who has obviously not the same quality around him as in Real and who can still manage to win trophies with Arsenal and be the BEST CREATIVE PLAYER OF THE PL in a totally different league than in Spain. So yes, he is a flop, the daily mail says so.
    Btw, Özil has still won more trophies than the WHOLE REAL MADRID TEAM last season… Yeah, Perez got it right.

    • David Bronstein

      August 12, 2015 at 8:30 am

      Since Ozil joined Arsenal statistically he has been no where near the most creative players, that is just fact. In 2014 he was ranked 6th- Gerrard and Suarez claimed the crown. Last season he was ranked 32, indeed Santi Cazorla had a better season than Ozil. You are right about last season, Ozil certainly did win more trophies than Real Madrid players, however this was a cup win and Ozil was bought for Arsenal to ignite a league challenge. Also in Ozil’s first season he did indeed win the cup, but Real Madrid his ex teammates won the Champions League. The argument is, Ozil doesn’t appear to have improved as a player since leaving Real Madrid, that in no way reflects that he is indeed a wonderful player. Thank you for your comment.

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