The last six years. €338.9 million, four players, namely Bale, Ronaldo, Rodriguez and Kaka. This is the contribution Real Madrid have made to the ten most expensive transfer fees paid in the history of football in the last six years alone. In return, the habit of spending record-breaking transfer fees has resulted in one La Liga title, two Copa del Rey winner’s medals, one Champions League triumph and of course, the Supercopa in 2012. Without being too dramatic, one would think that the regular addition of world-class players, as they are labelled, would result in more domestic dominance coupled with more success on the continent.
However, this is not team Real Madrid, this is collection Real Madrid. What this outlet seems to be keen on achieving is the next headline rather than the next title. The reality is that, with the exception of Ronaldo, the above mentioned players should be nowhere near the top ten of all-time transfer fees, but Real’s reality made this happen. I am sure that Gareth Bale, without any disrespect, must have pinched himself so often that his arms turned blue in the process. Arguably, this is no player many people will remember in 20 years.
In contrast, Barcelona’s contribution to the top 30 transfer fees of all time is rather insignificant with a mere two, namely Suarez and Ibrahimovic. In Spain, it may be easy to simply criticise one half of El Clàsico and praise the other, especially when one is not doing too well. Despite this, it is pivotal for the rest of world football to observe these differences and use Barcelona as an example for success of a different kind. As famous as it is by now, La Masia may not be the critical factor, but simply the fact that the Camp Nou based outfit is happy to trust youth and complement home-made world stars with imported world stars that can improve the squad.
Real Madrid can feel free to continue on its current path, which will surely keep them at the top of financial charts, on the front pages of newspapers and provide enough discussion material for football supporters’ Sunday morning chats. Alternatively, they can start looking for the talent at hand and really achieve success by giving the likes of Jesé a real opportunity to shine. Unfortunately, the money is probably being readied, so that the disappointing season can be dealt in Real’s most typical manner, a shopping spree in the summer.