Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Great teams evolve … they’re never bought off the shelf

One of the cruellest insults thrown at Florentino Perez during his first spell at Real Madrid was that the president had turned a great team into football's version of the Harlem Globetrotters.

For Curly Neal and Meadowlark Lemon read Figo and Zidane. For Wilt Chamberlain and Marques Haynes we had Ronaldo and David Beckham to bring gasps from the crowd and bamboozle the  opposition.

First time around, it took Perez three years to assemble the All-Star cast that came to define his project, and another three for it to collapse under the combined weight of the salaries and egos, and those damned image rights we heard so much about.

In his second spell, Perez seems intent on proving that the only thing he did wrong at the start of the decade was move too slowly.