Real Madrid are a club on the rise. After winning the Champions League three times in four years, most clubs would face the burning dilemma of having a bunch of older players that are most likely to begin declining.
For Madrid, the opposite is the case since the club have a young core of world class players that look set to lead them to a series of glorious years in the future. While the club possess youth in abundance, they also have the right amount of experience to top it off.
So, what changed? It was only some years that Barcelona were dominating both Spain and Europe and it felt like the Blancos wouldn’t be able to get out of their arch-rivals’ shadows—but they did. And here are the five changes that allowed it to happen
#5 Signing Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo was actually acquired by Ramon Calderon and was one of the very few things that the former president did right.
The Portuguese star was signed for a then world record fee of €94 million – a sum that baffled many. In the same transfer window, Kaka and Karim Benzema were also bought, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s contribution to the club far exceeds the other two’s.
After eight years at the Madrid club, everyone unanimously agrees that this was a masterstroke of a signing given the success both the club and the player have enjoyed in this marriage. In these eight years, the Portugal captain became the club’s record goalscorer, won three Champions League, three Ballon d’Ors, two La Ligas and two Copa del Reys to cement his place as one of the club’s best ever players, if not the best.
But these are the on-field aspects that he brought the club. What is less talked of is the sheer determination and diligence that he oozes and that rubs on his team-mates as they see him put maximum effort week-in and week-out.
Real Madrid signed a winner. And now they are winning. Both are.