A large part of the credit for where Real Madrid stands right now goes to Florentino Perez. The Spanish administrator has been the president of the club for decades now and is rightfully uncontested for the position.
Under his guidance, the club has soared to new heights and is now football’s biggest institution. Moreover, the men in white have established themselves as the undisputed kings of European football.
Speaking at Real Madrid’s General Assembly earlier today, Florentino Perez elaborated on the team’s glorious past, bright future and strong-going present. As part of the same, he made sure to speak at length about several players who are, or were, at the club.
He first began by emphasising the importance of Real Madrid’s winning belief and the greatness that resided in the dressing room.
“This team is not going to get tired of winning, because it is full of extraordinary talent. A team led by Carlo Ancelotti, one of the most successful coaches in world football. It represents the values in an exemplary way of Real Madrid.”
“I work every day so that this club remains the best in the world. This club always aspires to more, it is a way to understand sport as well as to understand life,” he added on his contribution to the institution.
The first player he talked about, unsurprisingly, was Jude Bellingham. The English star has taken the world of football by storm this season, and Perez echoed the thoughts of so many pundits across the globe about his ceiling.
“Bellingham, at only 20 years old, is one of the best players in the world. He is going to mark an era and be a Real Madrid legend.”
The president also provided an update on the situation of contract renewals, which have been progressing at a rapid pace in recent weeks.
“We have announced the renewals of Vinicius, Rodrygo, Valverde and Camavinga. They are fundamental for the future of Real Madrid.”
While he was focused on the team’s present for most of his speech, he made it a point to remember the various players who helped the team across all competitions until last season – most importantly Karim Benzema.
“Karim Benzema, Madridistas will never forget your football.”
“Benzema is a player who wrote a wonderful era in our club. He is a unique and unrepeatable player. Thank you Karim,” he added.
Continuing on the impact of Marco Asensio who also left Real Madrid last summer, the club president said,
“At the end of last season, Asensio left us – he won 17 titles with the club. Thank you very much.”
Perez did not forget to express his gratitude towards the less prominent stars of last season who left the club as well.
“I want to thank Hazard, Odriozola and Mariano for their time at the club,” he said.
Staying on the topic of players who are currently no longer in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad, the administrator took a moment to voice his support for the injured players.
“My support for Courtois and Militao. Two of the best players in the world who suffered the worst that can happen to an athlete. All our love.”
The Spanish businessman then spoke on the Spanish Women’s National Team and their success at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, especially emphasising the Real Madrid players involved.
“I would like to congratulate the women’s national team on winning the World Cup. We should all feel proud and this is what we feel.”
“I congratulate the eight Real Madrid players in the team. They know very well that they changed history. We will never forget that goal scored by Olga Carmona,” he went on.
The 76-year-old has always been a vocal advocate of the European Super League, for he sees it to be essential for the betterment of the sport.
“Football is suffering an unprecedented institutional crisis. The situation is very serious. Either we react now or football will not survive. Because of this, the Super League project is now more needed than ever,” he said on the proposed competition.
Perez lashed out at the VAR system widely used in football and questioned its accuracy.
“Nobody knows well who draws the lines of VAR. This is what we don’t see and this is what is generating more doubts in refereeing. We don’t see the complete image. It is a constant in all games and it is which is generating more doubts about Spanish arbitration.”
The Real Madrid president also touched upon the Negreira scandal that has dragged Barcelona into legal trouble, saying:
“We must be respectful of the times of justice. It is not normal for a football club to have paid €8 million for 20 years to the Vice President of the Referees Committee. We were admitted as an injured party. It is a case of enormous gravity and is damaging the image of Spanish football.”
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo