Real Madrid Club de Fútbol - Old Los Galacticos vs New Los Galacticos
Old Los Galacticos vs New Los Galacticos
Spanish words duo- “Los Blancos (The Whites)” or “Los Merengues (The Meringues)” refer to the Real Madrid C.F., a glorious football club in the history of the game. But another Spanish word- “Los Galacticos (The Stars)” mean a certain period of the history of Real Madrid, a certain squad full of star players of that time. The time I’m talking about is 2000-2007, from the arrival of Luis Figo to the departure of David Beckham. Since that famous “Los Galacticos” team, there was not much of a glory added to the Spanish capital side. Not until the arrival of Florentino Perez as club’s president once again. Perez was the architect of Los Galacticos during his tenure of first-time presidency (2000-2006). After getting elected for the second time, he took the same venture of building a newer version of “Los Galacticos”. This blog is intended to compare “The new Galacticos” with “The old Galacticos”. Though it is very difficult, because the old one played under a number of managers including Vicente del Bosque & Fabio Capello . They followed different formations than the one of Jose Mourinho (4-2-3-1). But still I’m trying my best to make “man to man” & “position to position” comparison between the two Galacticos-
Goalkeeper- Iker Casillas vs Iker Casillas
The title says all. Saint Iker , a product of Real Madrid academy , is arguably the best goalkeeper of his generation. He won everything in his life, wearing either Real Madrid jersey or Spanish national team jersey. La Liga, Champions league, Euro championship trophy, World cup trophy.
Right Back- Michel Salgado vs Arbeloa
This is an easy call. Though Arbeloa is a decent Right Back, but he is no match with Salgado. Michel Salgado was one of the best full back in the world, during his time in Madrid. He was relentless to go upfront & getting back. Clearly, Salgado is the better one.
Centre Back- Ivan Helguera vs Sergio Ramos
Ivan Helguera was an important player for the old Galcticos. He was an auto choice during his spell in Madrid. But Sergio Ramos has the upper hand, not only just for his versatility but also for his wonderful technical talent and physical strength. He is comfortable in both Right Back & Center Back position, a rough tackler, super fast, very skilled in the air too. In this duel, Ramos is the better one.
Centre Back- Fernando Hierro vs Pepe
Fernando Hierro was the titan at the back of Galactic army. His name can easily make into the all time best eleven of Real Madrid. He was such an influential character at the back. His towering existence in the defense & goal scoring ability from set pieces made him a true legend. Pepe is an effective defender who is widely known for his rough & tough tackle. Although some of those are reckless but to be honest, the guy is a strong defender. But he is way behind compared to Hierro.
Left Back- Roberto Carlos vs Marcelo
Both of them are Brazilian. But their styles are not so common. Marcelo may be one of the very best Left Back of this time. He has typical Brazilian flair. But Roberto Carlos can be mentioned by one simple sentence- “he is the boss”. He was as fast as Usain Bolt, his stamina was at superhuman level, a rough tackler & he used to take unbelievable thunder like shoot. Roberto Carlos is a better Left Back than Marcelo.
Defending Midfielder- Claude Makelele vs Sami Khedira
Another easier call to make! Sami Khedira is a good tackler, has decent activity in the midfield & he can pass. But with due respect to Khedira, he is none to be compared with Makelele. Claude Makelele was the most underrated & most unappreciated player of old Galactico. He played for Madrid only for 3 seasons. But during that short period, he showed such class, for which fans & experts still blame the president Florentino Perez for throwing away Makelele. His unacceptable departure signaled the upcoming dark era in Santiago Bernabeu. Some of teammates like legend Hierro, Zidane Raúl, McManaman and Fernando Morientes couldn’t accept the departure of Makelele. Zinedine Zidane spoke on Makelele’s exit & Beckham’s arrival,
“Why put another layer of gold paint on the Bentley, when you are losing the entire engine?”
Yes, all the Galactico stars might get their upfront dazzled with their spectacular showdown, but it was Claude Makelele who was the engine of their Galactic power.
Defending Midfielder- Guti vs Xabi Alonso
Guti was a product of Real Madrid’s youth system. He served Real Madrid for 25 years. Initially as a striker, then as an attacking midfielder & then he transformed himself to play in the deep. On the other hand, Xabi Alonso is a pure class; he is the backbone of current Galactico team. He is a better passer, technically more accomplished, a true leader in the midfield, can put pressure on the opponent with his timely tackles, can hit the ball hard from outside of the d-box. Xabi Alonso is clearly the better option.
Right Winger- David Beckham vs Angel Di Maria
A tough call! David Beckham’s arrival at the Bernabeu happened to be at a wrong time. He came when the Galactic era began to fall, but he is not the one who should be blamed. He worked hard, performed consistently but still got dropped by Fabio Capello. He was a key player; all of his fabulous crosses & all those dream free-kicks taken by him speak for his outstanding class. On the other end, Di Maria is a great passer of the ball, he got lightening fast sprint. But Beckham is the better choice to me.
Central Attacking Midfielder- Zinedine Zidane vs Mesut Ozil
The easiest call of all! Zinedine Zidane is one of the greatest maestros in the history of football. He is probably the best football player of last two decade. There is nothing much to compare Ozil with Zizou. Mesut Ozil is still a kid, has a lot of potential ahead of him. He has superb creativity, excellent vision & mobility in the midfield. But it is an honor for Mesut to even get a chance to be compared with the ultimate playmaking genius like Zizou.
Left Winger- Luis Figo vs Cristiano Ronaldo
Luis Figo is one of the very best footballers of his generation. He could play outstandingly from both wings. He was a true versatile attacking midfielder, astonishing physical strength & stamina who scored goals after goals. His successor & countrymen Cristiano Ronaldo is nothing less than him. CR7 is the jewel of the current Galactico team. He is a natural two footed player. His amazing technical skills, outstanding stamina & excellent physical strength, fantastic skills in the air, stunning crosses & missile like free-kicks make him one of the two best footballers of his generation. It’s a very tough call to make. But I will go for CR7.
Striker- Raul Gonzalez vs Karim Benzema
Benzema is still young had a lot ahead of him. After three years with the white shirt, he had his first good season just now. But Raul Gonzalez was another level of class. He was a product of Real Madrid youth system like Iker Casillas. Raul was a true leader on and off field. He was a pure madridista, a goal scoring machine, a real joy to watch, probably the most fan favorite player in the history of Real Madrid club. His name was synonymous to the entire club to the fans. Fans used to call themselves Raulista along with Madridista. No doubt, Raul is the better one.
Striker-Ronaldo vs Gonzalo Higuain
What an amazing striker Ronaldo. He scored hat-ricks afterhat-ricks during his five years tenure in Spanish capital. Ironically he had to struggle with injuries very often. But like a true warrior, he came back and performed almost consistently. On the other hand, Higuain came into Madrid side at a very early age. Since then he is still showing his class. Like a poacher, he has great position sense, excellent finishing capability. But no wonder, Ronnie is the one I will choose.
Substitute- Michel Owen vs Ricardo Kaka
Both are high profile player of their time. But after arrival, none of them could meet the huge expectation. Both of them are usually benched player, very rarely make into the starting eleven. Owen was off-form & Kaka is a bit injury prone, has fitness issue. But still both are superstars, big money signings & dazzling members of dazzling Galacticos.
You may have a different opinion. If you have, please don’t hesitate to comment below. I would love to know your view as well. Thanks for stopping by and taking your time to read this article.