When the 2010 FIFPro starting 11 was announced, eight of the 11 players were from Barcelona and Real Madrid. La Liga clubs not named Barcelona or Real Madrid not only have to contend with the overwhelming gap from a talent perspective but they also have to watch on with frustration as Barcelona and Real Madrid pocket more than a third of the TV revenue. Then again 60% of the nation supports one of the two superclubs.
There are two leagues within La Liga, one containing Barcelona and Real Madrid and other containing the rest. Just to illustrate the dominance of Barcelona and Real Madrid, after 38 matches, only Hércules from the other league managed to defeat either one of the two superclubs. La Liga is becoming very much like the Scottish Premier League except sunnier.
So whilst the other league is eventful, the league with the two superclubs is providing some interesting plotlines. None more fascinating then the constant power struggling between José Mourinho and Real Madrid… well more specifically Florentino Pérez.
Mourinho has a history of strongarming the club board, he walked out on Benfica when he was still a nobody and his cold war with Roman Abramovich resulted in eight months in the unemployment sector. At Inter Milan, after wasting €32 million of Massimo Moratti’s money on Mancini and Ricardo Quaresma and failure in the Champions League, Mourinho demanded more money. Moratti gave in and the signings of Diego Milito, Thiago Motta, Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto’o facilitated the treble winning season.
Pérez who expensively negotiated José Mourinho’s signature from a bittersweet Moratti refused to hear Mourinho’s pleas for a new right back in that of Maicon. Perhaps Pérez was right given Maicon’s shambolic displays against Gareth Bale. Now, Mourinho wants a new striker, well not one that starts, one that is a backup for precisely six months or until Gonzalo Higuaín returns. Pérez sees the deal as destructive whilst Mourinho sees it as pragmatic. One is a businessman the other is a manager. The question is who will give in?
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Written by Allan Jiang
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