Have Real Madrid lost their transfer market mojo?

September 3, 2008

Van der Vaart and Schuster

Have the nine-times European champions Real Madrid lost their pulling power, or did they just play the market badly this time?

They put all their eggs (well, most of them) in one basket to land Cristiano Ronaldo but only succeeded in upsetting Robinho when he found out they might sell him to help finance the deal.

They then failed to convince Robinho to sign an improved contract and with time running out they couldn’t persuade David Villa to move from Valencia or Santi Cazorla to leave Villarreal.

Now they start the new Primera Liga season low on resources, at least in attack. Midfielder Rafael van der Vaart is their one major signing and if he stays fit for any length of time he could be a very useful one. But will it be enough win the trophy all Real fans want and expect — their tenth European Cup?

Raul, 31, and Ruud van Nistelrooy, 32, are getting long in the tooth and as back-up they only have Gonzalo Higuain, who shows potential but not a killer instinct, and Javier Saviola, who hardly played at all last year.

They have one proven winger Arjen Robben, who is injury prone, while Royston Drenthe has yet to set the flanks alight.

Bernd Schuster, who doesn’t look very happy at the best of times, said grumpily after Sunday’s opening day defeat to Deportivo Coruna, “l looked to the left of me on the bench and didn’t see any strikers.”

The player who could have made a difference coming off the bench was Robinho, and he had been left out of the squad in a sign of things to come.

PHOTO: Real coach Bernd Schuster with new signing Rafael van der Vaart during their friendly away to Eintracht Frankfurt, August 12, 2008. REUTERS/Alex Grimm


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Real Madrid have Gonzalo Higuain, and how you can say thaht he “doesn’t have killer instinct” ? In almost every game that he played, he puts the ball in the net, he almost never misses his chances to score. He score very very important goals for RM in last two years! He is only 20, still very very young! This will be his and Drenthe’s year, now without Robinho!

Posted by Alexander | Report as abusive

I don’t think they’re going to qualify for the Champions League knockout phase, much less win the trophy.

Posted by gwto | Report as abusive

[…] Source Share and […]

Posted by Have Real Madrid lost their transfer market mojo? : Soccer News | Report as abusive

They (Real Madrid) have best players/team in recent years, that is for sure! Best goalkeeper, best defence, best midfield and I’m sure that Raul, Nistelrooy, Higuain and Robben can score a lots of goals, in front.

Posted by Sale | Report as abusive

[…] The magic of the Real Madrid mercato lacked this summer. (Reuters Soccer Blog) […]

Posted by Daily Dose: 09.03.08 | The Offside | Report as abusive

might turn out to be all for the best. they’ve kept a winning team together more or less (van der vaart instead of robinho). might work out for them. hope so.

Posted by lauder | Report as abusive

They don’t need to spend every year just to get the trophies, i mean Real Madrid Fans rest assure that real madrid will always be successful as they already got the team in a good shape

Posted by miccy | Report as abusive