?Real Madrid’s ‘Galacticos’ have been well documented over the years as the club sought to make big-money moves before looking for bargains, and former player and general manager Jorge Valdano has revealed the acquisition of Kaka in 2009 is the perfect example of the pursuit of ready made ‘superstars’.
Club president Florentino Perez pioneered the approach with the Spanish giants but Valdano has claimed that the 70-year-old didn’t always get it right.
The club’s €60m deal for Kaka in 2009 could have been sealed seven years earlier for just €12m, but Perez wanted to wait for his value to shoot through the roof.
Valdo claimed that he had a conversation with Perez when Kaka was worth in the region of €12m, warning him that his stock could rise considerably into the high tens of millions and his response was simply: “We will wait for it to be worth 60 million.”
Real Madrid’s former coach told ?Onda Cero: “It was 2002, and for Madrid’s centenary celebrations we organised a match of some of the world’s leading players against Real Madrid.
“It occurred to me to call Kaka. He came and played brilliantly in the last 20 minutes.
“At the end of the match I spoke to Florentino and told him: ‘We’ve got an amazing player here who right now costs 12 million euros and in four years time he’ll cost 60’. The answer from Florentino for me was unforgettable: ‘Don’t worry Jorge. We’ll wait till he costs 60’.”
The approach has seen the arrival of a number of big names over the years but an investment into youth has also occurred simultaneously, which Valdano credits to the fact that the riches within football has seen the ability to wait for the emergence of a top talent difficult.
“Nowadays, to buy a Vinicius, who still hasn’t broken through in the top-flight, is starting at 60 million euros,” he added.
“Did Florentino change? No. The market changed, now it’s incredibly difficult for the club to be able to wait for a talent to mature into a Ballon d’Or winner and then buy them just because you’re Real Madrid.
“Now you have to get in before then, because if any Premier League club gets their hands on a major talent, it’ll be difficult to sign them later.
“You have to think with a certain amount of planning and buy at prices you can pay players who are bets for the future.”