Monday's sale of German International Mesut Özil, a man who José Mourinho described as the "best number 10 in the world", from Real Madrid to Arsenal sent shockwaves across Europe.
However, it appears the transfer came as more of a shock to Özil's teammates than anyone else. Cristiano Ronaldo is allegedly upset with the move, saying the German playmaker as the player who knew his game best of all.
With the greatest of respect to Gareth Bale, there are many that do not feel he warranted the record breaking £86m fee Real Madrid reportedly paid for him.
The sale of Özil for almost half that fee could further enflame what is already a divided dressing room following Mourinho's four-year stint at the Bernebeu.
Özil allegedly spoke of feeling undervalued and stated that only Spanish players were treated with high regard at the club, similar sentiments echoed by Mourinho and Ronaldo, both of whom felt unsettled in Madrid during various periods last season.
The Özil situation is in many ways akin to another poor set of transfer dealings by Florentino Perez ten years ago.
Following a Champions League triumph in 2002 and wresting the La Liga crown away from Rafael Benitez's Valencia the following year, Perez decided that the unglamorous linchpin of the Los Blancos midfield was surplus to requirements and subsequently sold him to Chelsea whilst bringing in David Beckham as his glamorous replacement.
Perez then infamously criticised the Frenchman following the sale by stating: “We will not miss Makélélé. His technique is average, he lacks the speed and skill to take the ball past opponents, and ninety percent of his distribution either goes backwards or sideways. He wasn’t a header of the ball and he rarely passed the ball more than three metres.”
This prompted both Zinedine Zidane and Fernando Hierro to speak out against the sale and defend their former teammate.
Unlike Perez, as genuine connoisseur's of the game, Hierro and Zidane both understood the significance of Makélélé and what he brought to the side. Madrid's loss was Chelsea's gain as they cemented back-to-back Championships and made an impact in Europe beating the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich whilst Madrid could not get out of the Last 16 of the Champions League knock out stages.
Whilst Perez appeared to be too busy assembling a team of mismatched poster boys, down the road in Barcelona they were assembling a team of youth products from their academy as well as marquee signings that could adapt to their style of play.
Ronaldinho, deemed "too ugly" for Real Madrid, went on to achieve multiple individual awards and a standing ovation following his performance at the home of Los Blancos whilst Iker Casillas could only watch on in admiration.
Bale is a great footballer and he is going to provide Madrid with pace and power but Madrid already have that type of player in Ronaldo and even Angel Di Maria. Whilst Isco is almost certainly the best player of his type under the age of 23, he is not yet the finished product nor is he is as good or accomplished as Özil.
At the beginning of the season, Madrid were many peoples favourites to win both the Champions League and La Liga, but there appears to be a divided squad of total imbalance.
This seems all too common with Perez and his megalomaniacal regime and due to this, smart money would be on Barcelona retaining the title irrespective of who the manager is there.
Barcelona appear to be the Spanish equivalent of Manchester United, a clear structure and strategy in place for any manager to walk in and takeover. It is very much due to a mentality of the player adjusting to the needs of the team not the team adjusting to the needs of a player.
It should not surprise many that the Red Devils and Catalan usually start of as favourites for the title in their respective leagues ahead of the ever-changing Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid.
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