Jose Mourinho takes full control at Real Madrid as Jorge Valdano leaves the club: La Liga (Part 1)
Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid looked like a match made in heaven when the self proclaimed special one took over at Santiago Bernabéu last summer just before the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Mourinho brought with him a winning
mentality, a charismatic personality and also the tendency to challenge authority and to take all the decision making powers into his own hands.
At Inter Milan when Jose led the Nerazzurri to a treble in the 2009-2010 season, the Portuguese manager was all in all in charge at the club despite the presence of Massimo Moratti, the club president. Jose decided which players
to bring in and which players to sell. He decided which players would be on the bench, in the first team squad, train with the reserves so on and so forth. He was present in the contract negotiations and he was handling everything for the Italian giants.
Usually, such a decision making model of management is traditionally used by English clubs in Europe, whilst in Italy and Spain responsibilities are shared as managers are only not totally in-charge of who comes into the club and
who is sold from the team. Managers can obviously give their input on the matter but it is the Sporting Director’s who decide on the transfer targets and possible player departures from the club. At Real Madrid, Jorge Valdano was the Sporting Director until
Valdano who was Florentino Perez’s close friend and trustee used to decide who should be bought by Real Madrid and who should be sold by them. He decided on various other things too which did not sit too well with the narcissistic
Mourinho. Being the dominating figure that Jose is and being the powerful man that Valdano is, clashes soon emerged inside the Real Madrid camp.
Valdano was quick to suggest that the trouble brewing inside Los Blancos’ camp wasn’t due to his activities; it was because of Mourinho’s refusal to back down and criticize Jorge Valdano in the media. In all honesty, Mourinho did
make it difficult for Valdano to go about his job but Madrid’s former Sporting Director didn’t make the new manager’s job any easier.
Valdano’s interference at the club in terms of transfers was one of the key factors in the breakdown of relationship between the two men. Things came to a head in the summer transfer window when Jose wanted to buy a new striker
but Valdano refused to pursue the manager’s demands. In the end, the former Chelsea manager had to settle for a loan signing Emmanuel Adebayor from Manchester City. As the season progressed, Valdano’s influence became watered down due to Mourinho’s lobbying
with Real Madrid’s club president Florentino Perez.
Valdano’s interferences however did not have a positive impact on the team in any shape or form. Real Madrid played Barcelona four times near the end of the season. After losing 5-0 at Camp Nou earlier on in La Liga, Madrid drew
with their arch rivals at Santiago Bernabéu before going on to winning against them in the Copa Del Ray final. Nonetheless, Barcelona had their revenge in the UEFA Champions League as they defeated Real Madrid in the semi-finals by an aggregate score line
of 3-1. Mourinho was criticized in the aftermath of the result but he knew what changes had to be made in the Real Madrid hierarchy if the club was to be successful.
In the next part of this series, we shall explain how Valdano was sacked by Florentino Perez and what might be the after effects of this decision upon the club and in relation to Jose Mourinho as well...
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