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5 times Real Madrid president Florentino Perez shook the world with his decisions

Real Madrid president Florentino Pereez
Real Madrid president Florentino Pereez
Shambhu Ajith
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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has often been associated with making decisions that are sensational and controversial in equal parts.

Florentino Perez has become Real Madrid president twice and if the events that have unfolded over the last few days regarding the European Super League are an indication of how things are going down, he will be forced to make a call on his future.

Big decisions are nothing new for Florentino Perez. After all, being in charge of one of the biggest and most successful clubs in Europe is not an easy job. Perez has done the unthinkable multiple times and while some of them have been quite welcoming, some of them have not sat well with the club's fans or football fans in general.

On that note, let's take a look at five times Real Madrid president Florentino Perez shook the world with his decisions.


#5 Florentino Perez signing Luis Figo from Barcelona

Luis Figo of Real Madrid is bombarded by missiles while playing against Barcelona
Luis Figo of Real Madrid is bombarded by missiles while playing against Barcelona

Of all the players that crossed the El Clasico divide, Luis Figo's move from Barcelona to Real Madrid was one that was unpardonable as far as the Catalans are concerned. It was Florentino Perez's masterplan and it worked out to perfection.

Figo was Barcelona's main man at the time and had guided them to multiple trophies and had even dyed his hair red to show his commitment to the club. When Florentino Perez was running for president in 2000, he had to pull a rabbit out of the hat to get people to vote for him.

He promised them that he would sign Luis Figo. Before the election, Perez approached Figo's agent Jose Veiga and offered to pay €1.6 million to them to sign a piece of paper which said if Perez won the election, Figo would join Real Madrid.

But in the unlikely event of Perez becoming president, Figo would have to pay €35 million to rescind the deal. As Perez was not the favourite to win the election at the time, they signed the deal and got the money. But things went south as Perez won the election and Figo couldn't do anything but join Real Madrid.

#4 Letting Vicente Del Bosque leave

Real Madrid coach Vicente Del Bosque is lifted in the air by his players after clinching La Liga Championship in 2001
Real Madrid coach Vicente Del Bosque is lifted in the air by his players after clinching La Liga Championship in 2001

Vicente Del Bosque enjoyed a successful stint as the manager of Real Madrid from 1999-2003. He won the UEFA Champions League title and the La Liga twice. He looked set to be given a contract extension.

However, Florentino Perez was not a big fan of Del Bosque for some reason. Perez offered Del Bosque the opportunity to continue at Real Madrid in the capacity of the club's technical director. Del Bosque saw the offer as an insult and immediately turned it down.

The decision to let Del Bosque leave was met with condemnation in the Real Madrid dressing room and Fernando Hierro, Steve McManaman and Fernando Morientes voiced their disagreement and all three players were soon shipped out of the club.

That's just the way Florentino Perez decided to run his ship.

#3 Selling Claude Makelele

Real Madrid v Celta Vigo X
Real Madrid v Celta Vigo X

Florentino Perez was the man who brought the concept of Galacticos to Real Madrid. Every summer, they would make a marquee signing and the beginning of the end of that era was marked by Claude Makele's departure to Chelsea.

French defensive midfielder Claude Makelele was one of the most important players in the star-studded Real Madrid side at the time. He was an absolute force all by himself but Florentino Perez refused to give him a contract extension in 2003.

Florentino Perez did not budge despite players like Raul, Zinedine Zidane and Fernando Morientes voicing their support for Makelele. Perez even criticized Makelele's ability before selling him to Chelsea.

One man's loss is another man's gain. With Makelele in the team, Real Madrid were a juggernaut of sorts. They won six trophies, including two La Liga titles and a Champions League. with Makelele on their team. Without him in the centre of the park, Real Madrid struggled while Chelsea won back-to-back Premier League titles after signing him.

#2 Choosing to pass up the opportunity to sign Samuel Eto'o

Barcelona v Real Madrid - La Liga
Barcelona v Real Madrid - La Liga

This was yet another poor judgment call from Florentino Perez that had serious repercussions. Until 2004, Real Madrid and Mallorca shared ownership rights over Samuel Eto'o's contract. Eto'o had been extremely successful at Mallorca and became the club's leading goalscorer over five seasons.

However, Perez was of the opinion that Samuel Eto'o wasn't good enough to succeed the likes of Ronaldo Nazario and Raul. So he decided to sit down and negotiate a deal with Mallorca and Barcelona and the Catalans happily welcomed Eto'o over.

Eto'o went on to become one of Barcelona's most important players over the next few years and played a huge part in them winning two UEFA Champions League titles and three La Liga titles.

#1 Florentino Perez championed the European Super League

Florentino Perez
Florentino Perez

Florentino Perez is/was supposed to be the new president of the European Super League. Perez's exclusive interview with El Chiringuito (via Managing Madrid) and the confidence with which he talked about the project goes to show a certain sense of disconnect between himself and the fans of the game.

It didn't even take 24 hours after his interview before teams started backing out of the European Super League like an emergency evacuation. Protests are happening everywhere against the greed of the European giants and all the Premier League clubs have already backed out of it.

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are yet to back out but this will forever stay as a black mark on his career and is probably one of the most wayward and extremely disagreeable decisions he has ever made. And that's saying something. But we guess you know that by now.

Edited by Shambhu Ajith
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