Real Madrid invest over 400 million less than Barça since 2014
Recent years have seen Los Blancos' spending drop well below that of their biggest rivals in Spain's LaLiga, and that may be the reason for their demise.
With some notable exceptions, money tends to be the driving force behind success in football. And to explain Real Madrid's current predicament, a look at the spending on players over recent seasons may hold the key.
Madrid's spending, or lack of it
The lack of investment in signings for the Bernabéu faithful is in stark contrast to that of their two main LaLiga rivals. In the last five years, since 2014, Florentino Pérez has got the chequebook out for a total spend of 438.7 million euros on players. Over the same period, Barcelona spent 872.6 million euros and Atlético Madrid 567.9 million euros. To look at it another way, since 2014 Madrid have invested in the squad to a sum 433.9 million less than Barça and 129.2 million less than Atlético.
It's worth noting that Madrid's neighbours also bulld a glossy new stadium over the same timeframe, a subject that is taking its toll at the Santiago Bernabéu as Pérez seeks to fund a near 600-million-euro revamp.
Julen Lopetegui has now departed, but he was given his 'dream' job with a group of players noticeably down on previous seasons. Gone were the likes of Pepe, Morata and James without being replaced. The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo (and then Kovacic) just added to the depth being whittled away.
Lapse in big spending Pérez
Gareth Bale in 2013 was the last of the big signings (101 million euros). Two summers ago Florentino did not take the opportunity to sign Kylian Mbappé for 180 million from Monaco. Now he would likely cost around double that. Vinicius at 45 million has been the most expensive signing in the last four seasons and, as both Lopetegui and interim boss Santiago Solari have reminded us, he's still just a kid.
If things don't improve soon, it's very possible that the chequebook gets a serious dusting down in the coming months?