What do you think is going on in Alfredo DiStéfano’s head? I imagine that the greatest legend in La Liga history is not particularly happy this weekend. First, he had to watch Barcelona, the biggest of rival of his Real Madrid, tie his team’s record for consecutive La Liga wins. Today he had to watch the indignity of Madrid falling 1-0 to Osasuna, a team just above the relegation zone. DiStéfano was never a particular fan of the first Galaticos era, which he thought nearly ruined the club. Now, he has to watch the second set of Galacticos stumble farther and farther behind arguably the greatest team ever (perhaps it is a consolation to DiStéfano that Barcelona are at least led by a fellow Argentine.) The first Galaticos were overpriced disappointments, but at least won the occasional title, including Madrid’s 9th European Cup/Champions League. This bunch has yet to win anything–and for good measure has been through four different coaches in three seasons.
Despite its high-priced stars, this year’s Madrid has proven to be overrated. In contrast, DiStéfano’s Madrid is, if anything, underrated. I have no idea why when people talk about the greatest team ever, DiStéfano’s Madrid is usually mentioned well after teams such as Sacchi’s Milan, Cruyff’s Ajax and Beckenbauer’s Bayern Munich (and this Barcelona team). Let’s not forget that DiStéfano’s Madrid won the first five European Cups. I am not sure why they get disrespected so, but I imagine that it had more than a little to do with a relative dearth of television coverage in that era.
Now Madrid has fallen to disrepair and infighting–crushed, as it inevitably must be, by the weight of so many egos. Mourinho is practically begging for an English club to hire him so he can leave behind the viper pit that is the Madrid boardroom. This is after he got the replacement striker he wanted. Madrid sells the shirts but loses the titles.
And DiStéfano must be wondering what happened to the club that he practically built.