On the face of it, it is easy to see why Real Madrid is such a draw to players aspiring to be seen as, the very best.
To list the footballing superstars who have pulled on the famous white shirt, even in the past decade alone, is too big a task to contemplate here.
The money, the history, the culture, the city…all tick the right boxes to make Real Madrid one of the biggest draws for any star, to the frustration of clubs who might want to keep hold of them.
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But this summer has been a strange one for the Spanish Club. If it were not for Ronaldo’s single handed assault on every record imaginable at league and club level, there would be very little to shout about at the end of the season.
Ancelloti soon found himself back on the job market as a direct result. A tweet from Ronaldo: “Great coach and amazing person. Hope we work together next season”, probably posted more in frustration at the inevitable rather than expectation, was ignored by the club.
Manchester United’s alleged pursuit of Gareth Bale has shone a light on the treatment of players by the club’s fans.
To be whistled and booed for not having a good game or making mistakes, even when a player is giving their all, is a concept that is baffling and alien to fans at home.
Equally the departure of Iker Casillas has called into question the treatment of club legends by the senior management. So keen were the club to make a new goalkeeper one of their marquee signings of the summer, Casillas was pushed out of the door with little dignity or fanfare.
The off-season long battle for De Gea’s signature between Madrid and Manchester United has rumbled on, doing little to shower either club in glory.
What it has done though is lead those on social media to unearth quotes, both past and present, relating to dealings with the Spanish giants, famously from Sir Alex Ferguson calling them a mob.
More recently the agent of Paul Pogba, Mino Raiola said the club throw players away like a facecloth.
None of this will slow the juggernaut that is Real Madrid though. As long as Ronaldo is jousting with Messi for the Ballon D’Or on an annual basis, and the big summer name arrives at great cost to keep the fans excited, then life will carry on as normal for now.
If MSN continue to hog all the trophies for Barcelona for another season or two though, then this will become a very interesting space to watch indeed.