Jose Mourinho and the making of The 'Real' Galacticos
Last summer, Perez splashed the cash to rope in the finest talent that the English, Italian and French leagues had on offer. In the womb of an economic crisis, Real Madrid did all to inflate the football transfer market. The era of the Galacticos was back on and with C.Ronaldo-Kaka on his roster, Perez dreamt to revive the glory of Figo-Zidane. Pellegrini, the mastermind behind the Yellow Submarines’ rise to contention was hired and thus, with a locker-room boasting more gossip columns than David Beckham, the stage was set to combat the domination of the cules in world football.
It was game on from kick-off and that was how it panned out with the La Liga going down to the wire. Despite piling a staggering 96 league points, the Blancos succumbed to a second-fiddle role behind supreme Barcelona. Crashing out of Copa del Rey to Alcoron, bowing out to Lyon in the early stages of Champions League added to the embarrassment of a fruitless season. They ended the season as they started it – empty-handed and big-mouthed. The scapegoat Pellegrini was mercifully shown the door and a name synonymous to trophies was recruited in Jose Mourinho.
While Pellegrini was a humble servant, Mourinho is a proud commander. He is not one to bow to the pressure from the Board or the media. He is a master tactician who knows his way and goes his way. Having conquered all in Portugal, England and Italy, the genius has now stepped on Spanish soil. There was no dearth of quality in the squad of star players at his disposal. The wholesale revamp was exercised last summer and it was now time to tweek it into a complete squad.
Accordingly, the dead meat was tossed out and young blood was transfused.
With C.Ronaldo playing upfront, Real Madrid were lacking quality on the wings. Addressing this issue, two promising youngsters Angel di Maria and Pedro Leon were swooped. The former was named the Portuguese Player of 09-10 season and the latter was amongst the finest wingers not wearing a UNICEF jersery to play in the La Liga. Talk about widening your horizons, the Blancos were spot on!
Earlier this year, the revelation of last season – Sergio Canales – was snapped up by Real Madrid to a petty transfer fee. The attacking midfielder had won many admirers with his inspiring performances for Racing Santander mid-season and his induction was reckoned a major coup. It was thereby, preliminarily supposed and decided that he would be loaned out to gain further experience. However, Mourinho – upon his arrival – has requested that the youngster be retained under his mentorship. And guess what, Kaka has been sidelined for atleast half-a-season! Crystal-balls, anyone?
And then, came Sami Khedira fresh off an impressive World Cup. Young, strong and dynamic, he is any manager’s dream for the steel in the midfield. Someone who could carry the ball across the halves – a box-to-box midfielder who would galvanize the defensive cover and could push forward during attack – a delightful prospect for Mourinho. We all know how Essien worked out for the Blues.
Having solved the midfield puzzle, what lay ahead for Madrid and Mourinho in this August transfer window? A full-back to plug the holes in the backline, a third striker to stock up the attack front, a centre-half to beef up that shaky defense?
All or none, with The Special One at the helm, the Galacticos is already complete.