Known as Los Galacticos, Madrid signed superstars Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham, each considered to be some of the best players at their respective positions in the world at the time.
It was an era of flashy offensive, if unsuccessful, teams for Madrid, where great defenders were few and far between in the transfer market.
Now, following back-to-back summers which have seen the signings of Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez it seems that the second era of Los Galacticos is underway.
Rodriguez completed his transfer this week from AS Monaco for $107 million, after leading Colombia to the quarterfinals of the World Cup and winning the golden boot with six goals.
But, although the talent of the side that added these young stars can’t be questioned, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema already in place, there are some major flaws in this approach.
The biggest of these is perhaps the most obvious, as it is hard to focus on a defense that struggled at points last season when all the transfer money is heading directly into the attacking third.
Another big struggle that will face Madrid next season is how to find a way to get all these players on the pitch at the same time.
Back in the original era of Los Galacticos Figo and Beckham previously occupied the same position, and were forced to play at places on the field they weren’t as familiar with to accommodate each other.
In this upcoming season for Madrid it is going to be next to impossible for players to break into the starting 11 of the reigning Champions League winners.
Even if the rumored transfers of Angel di Maria and Sami Khedira go through, that will still likely marginalize superstars Isco and Asier Illarramendi.
Modric could be another casualty in an attempt to find a spot for Kroos in manager Carlo Ancelotti’s system. With so many players up front it will be hard for Kroos to find a spot in the 11 unless he plays out of position.
It is completely understandable that Perez and the Madrid higher ups are interested in such young talented players, but sometimes you really shouldn’t mess with a good thing.
This is a team that before was already good enough to win the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. How much really needs to be done to improve on a squad of that much quality.
Only time will tell if this go around with the Los Galacticos ideal ends up failing as the first one did. For La Liga sides, that are already going to have to deal with a Barcelona side that has Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi, playing defense just got a lot harder.