El Centrocampista

SOUL DESTROYING – Are Real Madrid forgetting the foundations that made them great?

By Jamie Halden

Since the days of Di Stefano tearing through the mud with a pigskin ball, Real Madrid have been feared universally for their Footballing attributes and attitude towards winning.

Not once has Real Madrid’s behaviour on the pitch been described as anything but professional.

A ‘Gentlemanly arena’ is how Puskas described the stadium 30 years ago, where the teams would clamber, scrap and scrape their way to a result on the pitch but off it respect wasn’t so much a social grace but as a necessity given out naturally from professional to professional.

To describe ‘The Madrid way’ to an average football fan is extremely hard but it’s one of dignity, style and respect.

Admittedly this was tarnished somewhat during the first Pérez tenure, with wild spending and brash and arrogant bids on players who eventually compiled ‘The Galacticos’ era at Madrid.

Whilst a generation of fans have grown up remembering Beckham and Zidane as the club stalwarts rather than Puskas and Di Stefano you have never got the sense that the Madrid way was in any way being refrained or discarded.

Di Stefano with the famous five consecutive European Cups

The likes of Salgado, Hierro, Guti and Raul have all been left in recent times for various reasons and there is a certain lack of a ‘Madridista presence’ in the dressing room to guide them forward today.

Iker Casillas, who captains the side, is a voice in the distance as he often cuts a lone figure of sanity and despair amongst the drama that now seems to follow Real Madrid.

Whilst accepting that the days of Puskas and Di Stefano are over many Madrid fans still uphold their morals and attitude to Football.

In recent times this identity has not only been tarnished but it has been altered forever with the seeming consensus amongst the coach, director and president towards winning at all costs.

I am afraid lately that the costs have been severe with the club losing respect, identity and reputation for the sake of pushing Barcelona that extra inch.

Is it worth it?

Inciting Castillan – Catalan violence is one thing that has never been so publicly adhered, with every press conference comes another inflammatory comment aimed at riling ‘the Club’ of Barcelona.

Yet it would appear Jose has forgot the foundation, and indeed the motto of Barcelona which is that they are more than simply a Football club.

They are a nation of fans who all essentially hold stake in Barcelona, so when he wants to ‘rattle’ the club of Barcelona he is not simply attempting to unsettle the directors he incites a nation to hold putrid hate of this Madrid team.

In the words of Riog ”This can only end badly, soon there will be blood running on the streets.”

It is a real fear not only held by Barcelona officials but by the LFP themselves.

Whether or not Jose recognises how far off the Madrid path he has strayed in making comments to incite hate he is enraging thousands of Catalonian’s towards not just the Real Madrid team but the entire brigade of Madrid supporters.

The question is, is this the Real Madrid that the pioneers like Di Stefano wanted to create?

Then we see indiscipline show itself on the pitch and Real Madrid players essentially endangering careers with some of their challenges, is this the Real Madrid way?

Is poking a fellow coach in the eye the Real Madrid way of managing?

There is always a great pride shown in the managers of Real Madrid by the fans who back them often through tough times.

The club encourages individual style and philosophy from coaches that come in.

But there has always been a figure above the coach who is familiar with the Real Madrid way and in many ways controls things off the pitch so that the club’s philosophy of respect is upheld.

Admittedly, again, Pérez is no saint and he has broken the boundaries of limitation in regards to the Real Madrid identity many a time in the past 10 years but he has never actively supported violence as a method of getting trophies for Madrid.

He may not endorse publicly what Mourinho has done but you feel he is now powerless, he handed Mourinho full control and in handing him that handed him Madrid’s club identity which Mourinho has gone on to subsequently rip out and change forever.

From eye gauge’s to cloaked apologies Real Madrid are now in a situation where it has strayed so far from the path the club was built on.

The anarchy at Madrid is not ‘hostile’ and it’s not ‘opposed’ it’s simply been allowed to be injected by those people at the top who are supposed to hold the Football club history above any short term success.

The way at Real Madrid is that manager, coaches and the directors manage, that may sound crude and backwards but it’s the only way the club can uphold the values it was built on.

The values that made this great club the most respected in the world of football.

One Comment

  1. Iain McMullen

    2 September, 2011 at 09:00

    An interesting analysis of the current situation at Real Madrid.

    You could argue that things need to change at the club however, as the old way just isn’t working anymore.

    It’s seems there are widely different opinions of Mourinho among the fans of Real Madrid – some are frustrated and disappointed, while others are 100% behind Jose.

    In no way can violence and intimidation be condoned but, in truth, it is nothing new in the history if the club’s rivalry – remember the pig’s head incident?

    Football is changing, for better or worse (that’s another story..), and the tradition and foundations or many clubs are in danger of being consigned to history (RM and FCB included).

    The battle (football wise) ahead promises to be intriguing, as Madrid have definitely cut the gap between the two clubs.

    I just hope we don’t see any repeat of the off-field antics witnessed at Camp Nou two weeks ago.

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