Another summer, another world record. With Real Madrid’s œ47.2million capture of Zinedine Zidane from Juventus, football’s hyper-inflationary transfer market shows no signs of slowing down.
For the sixth year running, the world record transfer fee has been smashed. Not broken or overtaken. But obliterated, blown sky high, by a club whose president, Florentino Perez, had made it a personal mission to sign the FIFA World Footballer of the Year.
Perez is the construction magnate who came to power at Real a year ago by masterminding the unthinkable D the transfer of Luis Figo from Barcelona for the then earth-shattering œ37m. Twelve months on he was determined to get his man by spending another world record sum. ‘Why is Zidane leaving Juventus? The answer is very simple,’ said Juve general manager Luciano Moggi.
‘Firstly, because he has expressed his desire to leave, and secondly, because Florentino Perez was absolutely determined to take him to Madrid.’
Moggi, responsible for Juve’s transfer market dealings, had no answer to Perez’s persistence, complaining: ‘Perez is always trying to force situations. When he was trying to sign Luis Figo, his behaviour was even worse.’