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5 reasons why it is tough to be a Real Madrid Galactico

  • While becoming a Real Madrid Galactico is a sure fire way to instant stardom, many underestimate the pressure and difficulties that come with it
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Modified 10 May 2015, 13:40 IST
David Beckham endured many highs and lows at Real Madrid

Once upon a time there was rich kingdom in the capital of Espana. The kingdom was so wealthy that the many other small kingdoms of the country could only look in envy as they could never pose a serious threat to the might of the Los Blancos. But there was one kingdom who were keen to fight Los Blancos for the right to occupy the Spanish Throne. They were known as the Catalans.

These crusaders in red and blue capes gave a tough fight to men in white and soon Los Blancos realized that they needed better knights to hold on to their throne. The mighty empire of Madrid conjured a minister by the name of Florentino Perez and he was given the task of assembling the finest knights from around the world so that the Catalans would no longer be a threat. Perez assembled the best from the corners of the earth and bestowed them the title Galacticos.

They lived a life filled with fame and glory, they were showered with gold coins for their brave endeavours, but history never spoke of the hardships these mighty knights faced. What challenges did these Galacticos face when they wore the white of the Los Blancos

1) Intimidated by teammates

Michael Owen struggled to find starts ahead of Ronaldo

It doesn’t matter who you are and what you have done in your past because once you join the elite group called the Galacticos all that matters is the performance in the all-white kit. It is easier said than done because most players who join the Galacticos were the stars of their previous team and are suddenly pushed into a group where everyone is equally talented or famous. The players are therefore left with the daunting task of starting from scratch and creating a name for themselves in new surroundings.

A perfect example of a player who was intimidated by the quality of the players around him is that of Michael Owen. He was a star in England and a Ballon d’Or winner before his arrival in Spain. But once he joined Real Madrid, he struggled due to the players he was competing with for a starting berth and they were none other than Ronaldo and Raul Gonzalez. Eventually, after one season which saw 15 starts and 18 goals, Owen was sent packing back to England. 

2) The boo-boys of Real Madrid

This Gareth Bale celebration was a response to the Real Madrid boo-boys

Real Madrid may be one of the biggest clubs in the world, but their fans are notorious for the way they receive their own players. Recently the fans of the club were subjected to criticism all over social media for the way they treated Gareth Bale.

The Welshman is not exactly enjoying the best season of his life and he hasn’t received the backing he needs from fans in such a scenario. Bale has been booed by his own fans at the Bernabeu for every touch he took and matters took a turn for the worse when he didn’t pass to Cristiano Ronaldo and missed a good chance to score. Bale not passing to Ronaldo was something that should have died on the pitch, but the fans of Real Madrid gave Bale a hard time for the same.

Bale isn’t the first Galactico who has suffered due to the booing of his own fans. Before Bale the target for these fans were none other than their club captain and legend, Iker Casillas. The goalkeeper endured a difficult period in between the sticks after his return from a long-term injury and he was greeted with boos and jeers on many occasions.

3) The price tag  

The world record fee paid for Gareth Bale will always be questioned if the Welshman does not perform

To assemble the best players from around the world, you need to splash a lot of cash and so the Galacticos have cost Real Madrid a lot of money over the years. In fact, five of the top 10 most expensive transfers in the history of football are players who signed for Real Madrid. These five players are Gareth Bale (€100m), Cristiano Ronaldo (€94.4m), James Rodriguez (€79.5m), Zinedine Zidane (€75m) and Kaka (€65m).

These stars cost the club so much money that there is pressure on them to perform instantaneously as well as maintain their consistency throughout their stay at the club. Else they run the risk of being labeled a flop.

Kaka was a star before he joined Real Madrid, but injuries and fight for places meant that he left the club for free as a flop. Gareth Bale had a good debut season, but his erratic form this season has led to speculation of his departure from Real Madrid and finally James Rodriguez had a slow start to his Real Madrid career and many argued that Real Madrid signed the Colombian World Cup star only to boost the club’s image in his native country.

The price tags of these players hang above them throughout their stay. Some are not fazed by it, but others often struggle in their quest to justify their lofty price tags. 

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Published 10 May 2015, 13:04 IST
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