- Perez acquired best in the world
- All-time greats assembled at the Bernabeu
- Were no guarantee of success
WHAT HAPPENED? The Portuguese arrived at Santiago Bernabeu when fellow countryman Carlos Queiroz inherited the Blancos’ reins in 2003, with it around that time that the Liga giants boasted their greatest collection of global superstars. The likes of David Beckham, Luis Figo, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Carlos were all part of the same squad, with it almost impossible to say who was the best of that bunch.
WHAT THEY SAID: Peseiro has had a go at doing just that, telling The Mirror of his time in the Spanish capital: “It’s not easy, but I can say from training, the players (who were the best) were Ronaldo, Zidane and Figo. Picking one is difficult, to choose the best three is also difficult, but I can say those three were incredible. Overall, Ronaldo, Zidane and Figo showed the best, but then Roberto Carlos was amazing in the shooting drills and running. Raul, the striker, his quality was amazing. [Iker] Casillas would make unbelievable saves. Beckham, Guti, could do amazing things. There were five, six, seven, eight, nine players at an amazing level. But if I need to pick three, Zidane, Figo and Ronaldo, in any order. They were special players to work with.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: While having an abundance of all-time greats at their disposal, Real could only muster a fourth-place finish in the 2003-04 campaign and Queiroz was relieved of his managerial duties after just one difficult season at the helm.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? Real have persisted with their ‘Galacticos’ recruitment policy across Florentino Perez’s two spells as president, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric also slipping seamlessly into that category.