Real Madrid 1998-2005
Real Madrid 1998
Achievements: European Cup 1998, 2000, 2002;
Key Players: Casillas, Makelele, R. Carlos, Hierro, Figo, Zidane, Raul, Ronaldo, Beckham, Seedorf
Star Player: Raul, Zidane, Figo, Ronaldo
After winning the European Cup in 1998, their first for thirty years, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez launched an interesting experiment. The 'Galacticos' project involved signing a world class superstar every successive summer. These signings, which already joined Roberto Carlos, Raul and Casillas, comprised Figo (2000), Zidane (2001), Ronaldo (2002) and Beckham (2003). The team contructed was certainly one of the most star-studded of all time but the policy, which was always as much about selling shirts as winning trophies, backfired. The European Cup was won again in 2000 and 2002 but in accommodating each new signing, who tended to be forwards, the balance of the team was lost. Defensive players were neglected and club stalwarts were sold, most notably defensive midfielder Claude Makelele, to bad effect. By the time Beckham joined the side, the team seemingly with a new coach every year, was looking particulalry unbalanced and the team had stopped winning trophies. They were always good to watch though.