Real Madrid, along with the rest of the footballing world, have now concluded all their summer business in the 2019 transfer market. And despite spending quite a lot, it does seem like Los Blancos are straying away from their usual policy.
The whole world knows Real Madrid as the Galacticos. That nickname stems from the era that started in the early 2000s when many of world’s best players were actually donning the white kit of Real Madrid. And despite that being a ridiculously poor era for Los Blancos, it still remains memorable solely for the esteemed names that they had in their squad.
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And some years later, Zinedine Zidane found himself at the heart of that squad once again, only this time he’s dictating from the sidelines rather than chasing the ball himself. But it has been a while since they actually signed a true Galactico, a player who warrants that name with both his skill and value.
Eden Hazard can surely be put into that category as he was among their most valuable acquisitions in years but other than him, there’s practically no one that matches the Galactico description. Could this signal that a change of policy has ushered in a new era at Real Madrid?
This year, Madrid have been back to spending the big bucks in the transfer window; they’ve spent a total of £276.75m on new signings, which is definitely more than just a hefty sum of money. But it’s also a big change considering what has happened in recent years.
Sure, last season’s outlay of £146.48m was more than just a modest splash, but there is a distinct lack of extravagance – relative to Madrid’s standing within an obscenely rich footballing world – as we look further into the past.
Even in the years in which large sums have been forked out, the profile of player has often been young, bursting with potential and carrying a high resale value: take Brahim Diaz, Vinicius Junior, Theo Hernandez, Dani Ceballos and Mateo Kovacic. Very few have been Galacticos per se but more talented players with the potential to blossom into a Galactico figure.
The policy is definitely taking a different shop in comparison to the one that saw Real Madrid buying finished products from the shelves and stacking the team with high-quality stardom.
There’s no real definition for a “Galactico” player but usually, only the best and most expensive acquisitions can warrant that name. By those standards, only Hazard and Gareth Bale could be considered in that category going back ten years and all the way to Cristiano Ronaldo’s purchase in 2009/10.
Even when we take into account the transfers of the likes of Luka Jović or Thibaut Courtois, who are still big signings in their own right, they still don’t ignite the shockwaves that Ronaldo, Bale or Hazard sent with their arrivals. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, it’s basically the same blueprint Barcelona used back in the day to conquer the world.
In 2009, when Pep Guardiola led them to all six trophies in a single campaign, he did it with mostly kids from La Masia doing the hard work and pulling more than just their own weight. That year, their biggest signing was actually Dani Alves of all people. So there is proof out there that this policy works and after all, those youngsters are the future.
And seeing how everyone’s been bashing Real Madrid for making the same old mistakes over and over again, this should be evidence that they are willing to change and risk it all by doing so.
By all accounts, it seems that for all their pedigree and reputation, Los Blancos just might have been working on a completely different policy all along and mostly under the radar of the general public.
It still remains to be seen, however, if it will bear any fruit in the future at all.