Benzema to join Real, when will the spending end?

July 1, 2009

France striker Karim Benzema is joining Real Madrid from Olympique Lyon, the Ligue 1 club said on Wednesday on their website.

The 21-year-old Benzema will become Real’s third major signing under returning president Florentino Perez after Brazil’s Kaka and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

When Perez was first in charge at the Bernabeu he set about signing one Galactico each close season. Now he is trying to buy them all in a month.

Where is he getting the money from during this global economic crisis? Furthermore, what damage is the spending spree doing to other clubs?

Manchester United were reportedly interested in Benzema to try to boost their forward line after Ronaldo’s departure.

We really are in unchartered territory here. Will Real still pursue Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery too?

Last time the Galactico plan did not actually bring trophies. A few defenders might help this time.

PHOTO: Olympique Lyon’s Karim Benzema reacts after their loss to Girondins Bordeaux in the French Ligue 1 soccer match at the Chaban Delmas stadium in Bordeaux, southwestern France, April 19, 2009. REUTERS/Olivier Pon


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I think u wrong on “Galactico plan did not actually bring trophies”, 1st edition of the Los Galacticos, Real Madrid have won 2 La Liga titles, 2 Copa del Rey titles, 1 Champions League Trophy (Major trophies, not including others) all that in a span of 3 years, as they suffer another 3 years trophyless.Also, Real Madrid is taking a loan for this players which can be covered by their assets and big organization of football club.

Posted by miccy | Report as abusive

It is an interesting point Miccy when the Galactico era first started. Obviously Zidane was instrumental in the early Perez successes but I reckon most people would say the height of the Galatico era was when he signed Beckham in 2003…they didnt win the league or Champ league from 2003-2006

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

35 million euros for Benzema, by the way

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

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Real has invested a small fortune in players, and there’s only 11 that can play at the same time, so many of them probably end up at the reserve bench. They have half of the Dutch national team under contract as well. Good players that would be an asset to any team, a waste of money and talent I would say.

Posted by Boss Hoss | Report as abusive

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I’d agree that there are a few inaccuracies in the article and the initial Galactico plan certainly brought silverware, including the Champs League trophy. It was only after the departure of Del Bosque, Hierro and Makelele that it began to fall apart….despite the signings of Ronaldo and Beckham.This time round they have signed the young centre half Raul Albiol from Valencia who looks an outstanding defender. They all have Sergio Ramos at right back and Pepe, another top class international defender if a touch volatile! Granted a decent left back is required as Marcelo is defensively weak.If Real get the balance in their side right, they could be truly sensational with the array of attacking talent on show.

Posted by Andy Campbell | Report as abusive

Albiol is only replacing the departed Cannavaro, I think they need a bit more strength in depth at the back.I think we can only class a side as “Galactico” when it has more than 2 top, top players.Liverpool have Torres and Gerrard but you wouldn’t say the team was Galactico.When Real had Zidane and Figo they won trophies, but with Brazilian Ronaldo and Beckham added to that, it fell apart.I think Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka can play together but once you add in Benzema and then maybe Ribery, they might all start falling over each other

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Albiol is only replacing the departed Cannavaro, I think they need more strength in depth at the back.I guess it’s disputable what constitutes a Galactico side. I think you need more than two top, top players to be classed Galactico.Liverpool have Torres and Gerrard but you wouldnt say they side was Galactico.When Real had Zidane and Figo they won but when Brazilian Ronaldo and Beckham were added it fell apart.Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo may work well together but throw in Benzema and maybe Ribery and they might start falling over each other

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

I think Cannavaro’s legs had gone in the last 2 years, and Albiol is a better option although you’re spot on with the lack of depth at the back.Having said that I’m not always sure it’s the actual defenders that are Real’s problem. The back 4 and Casillas are so often exposed by a lack of cover in front of them and the failure of the midfielders to track runners. Pellegrini had Villareal superbly organised and disciplined but can he do the same with the bigger names & egos at the Bernabeu?? Does he have anyone to play the Senna role to that level??

Posted by Andrew Campbell | Report as abusive

for the holding midfield role madrid really only have two options, lassana diarra and the other diarra they signed from lyon (wont attempt to spell his first name) but theres no garauntee that lassana will now get in the team next season despite him being excellent the last 6 months of last season, as for the other diarra you can almost be sure of a return to france for him. with players such as van der vaart, ronaldo, gago, higuain, schneider, robben, guti and kaka real have some superb attacking options in midfield and not a bad first choice defence, but i completely agree with andrew in the last post there is no place in there team for a senna, makelele role and whether the new manager wants them to have one (i would of thort he does) it seems that perez will be pulling most of the strings and pellegrini will simply be in charge of team talks and distributing the half time oranges

Posted by maid | Report as abusive

I wonder what the players are thinking when they agree to go play with (other) such large egos. I would hate for them to hate each other and then watch that manifest itself on the field and negate the whole excitement of watching kaka, ronaldo, benz, and possibly Ribery playing on the same team. Mark (or anybody else) would you happen to know of any good books written about the first galacticos team, especially about how they did/didn’t get along?

Posted by Clement | Report as abusive

This Galacticos issue, first or second generation, reminds me the beginning of the end of l’AS Saint-Etienne, when the late president Roger Rocher (rip) turned his club into a magnet for ze best players of that time (Michel Platini, Johnny Rep, Jean-François Larios, well, ok, all of them were not Galacticos… but still). That was at the end of the seventies/early eighties and it ended up in a court-room for embezzlement. I would not like to be in charge of rating the Real Madrid sovereign debt

Posted by Henri-Pierre | Report as abusive

You’re all missing the point here…should teams like AC Milan,Real Madrid, ManU etc. be permitted to buy top stars by running into debt while their competitors avoid excessive financial risk and short-term thinking by sticking to players and debt management they can survive on? Just because Madrid can try and finance their way to trophies doesn’t mean that is a sound policy, either in the short term (as Real’s last few years have proven) or in the long term! Here are the actual consequences of this avariciousness:1)Top stars (and their current owners) suddenly ask incredible sums for the “priviledge” of signing them.2)Great players, a notch below them, who are already in their new teams’s squad suddenly become benchwarmers.3)Youth players see that there is another rung added to the ladder they have to climb to reach the first team.4)Not so great players who have one or two “good”seasons at another club quickly raise their asking price, rendering the market insoluble.5)Well managed teams who honour a wage restriction policy and manage their finances intelligently cannot hope to aquire first quality players at an affordable price, thus, either being forced to go into debt or deeper into debt to get the players, or to hope that their current squads can manage to avoid relegation.6) These “superstars”eschew loyalty and commitment to their team and teammates for an attitude that is all about “them and their greed”.7) These guys are paid about 10 time more than the manager(and about a million times more than the referees) so they may indeed find it hard to follow orders and remain sportsmanlike on the field.Making a great team isn’t simply buying “great”players but developing a youth system that promotes talent and teamwork. A team full of superstars is a team full of gigantic EGOS and a team that rarely has one style of play. It is up to the manager to unify and solidfy the team and each position based on his vision. Sir Alex has that skill, but he also has the sharpness to handle big Egos like Christian Ronaldo, and the like. There is also the question of an irrestible drive to win, which Real has lacked (along with AC Milan, Liverpool and Arsenal)and ManU,Barcelona sand Chelsea still possess.

Posted by Domhuaille | Report as abusive