After the coronation of Real Madrid in C1 – The star did not spin: the response of Florentino Pérez

After the Super League fiasco in April 2021 of which he had been one of the main instigators and the “white season” which had concluded that same year, Florentino Pérez’s star had paled considerably. He had become a putschist, has-been, loser. In the spring of 2021, he was accused of having caused the dry resignation of Zidane (forgetting that it was he who had had the audacity to entrust him with the first team in 2016) and of having brought back a Carlo Ancelotti lost at Everton (10th in the Premier League). By recording the departure of the axial pair Ramos – Varane in the summer, he had, it was said, endangered the rearguard of the Merengues. More recently, the failed transfers of Haaland, even if it was predictable, and especially of Mbappé had been interpreted as personal snubs in the face of Don Florentino…

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However, in this spring of 2022, “his” Real Madrid won its 35th La Liga with a comfortable lead and won its 14th Champions League. Saturday evening, El Presidente triumphed in mondovision in Paris. On the lands of PSG, Nasser Al Khelaïfi, Ramos… and Mbappé! A Kylian ostensibly vilified on the Spanish TV channel Movistar: “Mbappé? It’s already forgotten, nothing happened. Real had a perfect season and it’s a subject that is forgotten. Today, Mbappé does not exist. What does exist is the Real party.” Against Liverpool, the Militão – Alaba hinge was once again present, and it was with the honors of Casa Blanca that Carlo Ancelotti became the only coach to have won four C1s and to have been champions in the five major European countries (Italy , England, Germany, France, Spain).

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Records, always records

This Roman triumph established his stature as “Imperator”. With 6 Champions Leagues under his presidency (2002, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022), Florentino Pérez has equaled the prodigious harvest of legendary president Santiago Bernabeu (1956-57-58-59-60, 1966). Bernabeu will forever remain as the president of the top five, but Pérez is and will forever be the president of the prestigious Decima (2014). By holding the personal record of FIFA Club World Cups (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018), plus an Intercontinental Cup in 2002, i.e. five world crowns, he has quite simply become the greatest club president in the history of the soccer.

With 14 C1, absolute record, Real Madrid has become almost unattainable and no other club should catch up with the Merengues for a while: AC Milan (7 C1), Liverpool and Bayern (6 C1) will have to whip for decades to arrive at such a total. Real Madrid is also 11 Ballons d’Or, most of which were won under his presidency. And if Karim Benzema won the 2022 edition – and it’s off to a good start – Real would come back up to Barça, who today hold the record with 12 units.

And 14: The incredible record of Real Madrid

Credit: Marko Popovic

We had mocked Florentino Pérez for the semi-failure of the Galacticos of the 2000s: he triumphs today with new Galacticos (Benzema, Courtois, Kroos, Casemiro, Mödric, even Vinicius). New Galactics, certainly less flashy, but much more triumphant. Even Pérez’s old motto, “Zidanes y Pavones” (the Zidanes and the Pavons), has been partially validated: alongside the cracks bought abroad, a Dani Carvajal trained at the club was one of the greats madridista successes of recent years. And the departure of the mega star Cristiano Ronaldo did not prevent the march of the meringues: Karim Benzema, in duet with Vinicius, perpetuated the legend of the great strikers-scorers of Real by outclassing the competition in La Liga and the Champions League.

Real Myth Keeper

The successes of the 2021-2022 season have increased the prestige of the Madridista institution and reinforced its aristocratic status in the Champions League, which has become “its thing”. The list of clubs beaten and given yet favorites or superiors (PSG, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool) is substantial. This impression of invincibility now poses a threat to Real Madrid’s opponents that turns into a curse. Because, yes, there is indeed a “mystical” Real (“Somos el Real Madrid!”, “Somos Uno!”: “We are Real! We are number 1!”), historically built with blows of remontadas – Madridista concept and not barcelonista – magnified by “the spirit of Juanito” (El espiritu de Juanito). This mystique indeed acts on those who wear the legendary white tunic, even in this aging Real 2022 populated by thirty-somethings.

Saturday night’s triumph at the Stade de France vividly illustrated what is often called “the weight of the institution”. It was Marcelo, the reigning captain who did not play in the final, who lifted the trophy. And not Karim Benzema, vice-captain and yet wearing the armband against Liverpool, who left him this honor. The history of Real is also that of its great captains. Gareth Bale didn’t make the final. Could this be an indirect punishment for the one who has so often flouted the White House? Same reason and same punishment for Eden Hazard? The weight of the institution is also the lordship of Real in the VIP stand of the Stade de France: Zidane, Raul, Ronaldo, Figo, Roberto Carlos… What other club can offer so many prestigious names?

Marcelo lifts Real Madrid’s 14th Champions League

Credit: Getty Images

Pérez, builder of glory and builder of setting

It is said, with good reason, that when refereeing Real Madrid matches, the men at the whistle often feel suddenly crushed, precisely by the weight of the Real institution. Especially at the Bernabeu Stadium. Sanctioning the so prestigious merengue club or whistling against it sometimes seems to them like a kind of sacrilege, hence an “influenced” arbitration, not always impartial… It is undoubtedly this unconscious balance of power imposed by Real and all that that he represents who pushed Aleksander Čeferin and UEFA to postpone the sanctions against the putschist clubs at the initiative of the Super League. A project that Florentino Pérez has not abandoned!

On Saturday evening in Paris, the president of the Casa Blanca presented the UEFA president with a miniature silver model of the new Santiago Bernabeu. History without doubt to make weigh on him again the weight of a Madrid institution stronger than ever and resolutely turned towards the future. Coming from the construction industry, at the head of the powerful company ACS, the extremely wealthy Florentino Pérez is a builder and visionary president. The new Bernabeu stadium, whose renovation works should be completed at the end of this decidedly sumptuous year 2022, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the stadium, is a futuristic UFO.

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Going from 81,000 to 85,000 places, it should be operational practically every day of the year. In addition to Real de Benzema’s matches, it will also host those of the merengue women’s team and the men’s basketball team. At tennis and American football matches and other karting races, the newlook Bernabeu will also host pop concerts, e-sport competitions as well as fairs and congresses. The retractable roof and lawn, the 360° terrace that will completely circle the stadium with bars and gourmet restaurants, the museum and the new club shop should generate an annual turnover of 350 million euros per year. Royal Madrid is in the process of taking a 10-year head start in terms of sports infrastructure and marketing. Florentino Pérez is resolutely projecting himself towards the decimoquinta. The fifteenth…

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