Rewind back to 29th November 2010. Barcelona have just thrashed Real Madrid 5-0 in what is considered at one of the greatest footballing performances in footballing history.
Barcelona utterly outplayed their fierce rivals, dominating every department and looking almost perfect in every form of the game while doing so.
Manager Jose Mourinho responded by saying "One team played very good, one team very bad. Deserved win, deserved loss. Humiliated? No. It's easy to deal with this loss, we just weren't good enough." However, he and all connected with Real Madrid knew that change was needed in order for the club to become the dominant European giant they once were.
Real Madrid's vision is clear
It is true that Los Blancos had already spent heavy money on Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria, amongst others.. But while the players were still licking their wounds from yet another Barcelona defeat, president Florentino Perez was preparing for bigger, more exciting plans ahead.
At this point, Real hadn't won the Champions League since the 2-1 triumph over Bayer Leverkusen in what is most famous for one of the greatest goals of all time - Zinedine Zidane's majestic, match winning volley.
Now, four years on from the humiliating defeat at the Camp Nou, Perez's vision at Real Madrid is becoming much clearer.
On Tuesday, Los Blancos completed the £63 million capture of World Cup star James Rodriguez from Monaco in what is the fifth highest fee ever payed for a player. Of the list of top five fees ever paid for a player, Madrid boast three of those five signings.
Perez and now manager Carlo Ancelotti are building a footballing project boasting of so many world class players, it has rarely been seen in football before. It leaves the likes of Isco, Khedira and Di Maria, who would surely walk into most starting line ups around the world, struggling for places and possibly looking for a way out of the club in the future.
Nevertheless, the balance and depth in this Madrid side in something that is unquestionably going to strike fear into the giants of European football, let alone their La Liga opponents.
Indeed the £571.5 million worth of talent that Real have invested in over the last five years, including the likes of Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Benzema and most recently Rodriguez, look like they mean business in Real's quest to become the first team to retain the European cup since AC Milan in 1990.
But amongst the hundreds of millions being thrown at players, what of the manager? Widely regarded as one of the smartest managers in European football, Carlo Ancelotti has already added the Champions League and Copa Del Rey to his huge list of successes as manager, which before last season's triumph already boasted two Champions League titles, a Serie A, Ligue 1 and a Premier League title.
When asked about Ancelotti, Perez mentioned that the former Chelsea manager "is a very normal person but very serious," he said. "When he came into the dressing room and embraced me; I saw that this is a great family. He has driven everything in a calm way and that is important.
"There are days when things are not right after a row; he does not have that, he fixes things. He makes the group into a big family. I would have brought him here before."
Rarely do you see Real Madrid, who take no prisoners when it comes to managers, have as much confidence as they do in Ancelotti. And with the Italian's magnificent record, that might no be such a bad idea.
One thing is for sure is that Madrid will keep spending if they need to, with Perez mentioning after last season's Champions League achievement, "We have a project, we are going to keep improving everything but we need time and calm to do that."
Yet it won't be as straight forward as it may seem. Most of the European 'giants' have at least added one big name to their squads this summer. You only have to think of Luis Suarez's move to Barcelona, Bayern's capture of Robert Lewandowski, Chelsea's new trio of Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Felipe Luis, the signing of Alexis Sanchez for Arsenal and Dortmund's clever addition of last season's Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile. The competition is higher than it has ever been.
Yet with a forward line of Ronaldo, Rodriguez, Bale and Benzema, Los Blancos could be very hard to stop, even for the best of European defences. In football these days, money often talks and as we all know, Madrid have that in abundance.
So long under Barcelona's shadow, we may well be seeing the reemergence of the club do often branded the 'biggest in the world'.
Another period of Real Madrid dominance could well be on the horizon.
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