President Florentino Perez demands that Real Madrid rediscover that “hunger for success” which led them to win everything in the past.
After winning three consecutive Champions League successes, Perez oversaw one of the worst campaigns in recent history for Real last term.
They finished in a distant third in La Liga and 19 points behind champions Barcelona, who also dumped them out of the Copa del Rey semi-finals in humiliating fashion. A shock Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Ajax also followed.
While all that was going on, Real underwent three managerial changes throughout the campaign. First in was Julen Lopetegui, who only lasted until October when Perez showed him the door.
The former Spain boss’ replacement Santiago Solari fared better, but even he couldn’t survive Perez’s wrath. Therefore, the Real president ditched him in favour of a surprise reunion with Zinedine Zidane in March.
However, things have got off to a rocky start in the Frenchman’s second spell in charge of Los Blancos.
Despite spending a club-record €307m in the summer, Real have only won twice in their opening four La Liga games. On the bright side, though, they are still just two points off surprise leaders Sevilla.
“This is a united club and that’s our strength, the strength of ‘madridismo’ [Real Madrid fandom],” said Perez at Real’s ordinary general assembly on Sunday.
“We have to understand that this team had won everything there was to win in a unique and historic cycle which saw us lift 17 titles in the past nine seasons. An almost inimitable cycle.
“It’s been a difficult season and we’ve all taken stock where necessary, because we need to turn the situation around. Don’t be in any doubt that we will do just that.”
Perez added: “By placing great demands on ourselves, we must carry out the transformation required which will allow ‘madridistas’ [Madrid fans] to dream of new successes and titles.
“Our challenge is to keep winning on an international football stage which is increasingly complicated and competitive.
“And of course, we need to recover that hunger for success. The desire that has been a crucial factor in enjoying one of the best eras in our history.”
Real defeated Levante 3-2 on Saturday thanks to Karim Benzema’s brace and a Casemiro goal.
The Spanish giants will now travel to France for their Champions League opener against Paris Saint-Germain in Group A on Wednesday.