Real Madrid also had their ‘Transition’: it was la Séptima, their seventh title as European champions. It was their exit from a long tunnel lasting 32 years, one that Madridistas had suffered through. That was the achievement for which Lorenzo Sanz will forever have the gratitude of Madrid fans, as well as the recognition of others. A team that was built by Capello with signings that were both brilliant and timely, just before the Bosman ruling came into effect, and prices skyrocketed. With those players and a base inherited from Mendoza (including Hierro, Redondo and Raúl) they triumphed in Amsterdam, in an unforgettable final against a Juve side starring Zinedine Zidane.
Sanz responsible for 'Club of 20th century'
But that squad was a rather self-indulgent group. For that reason they ended the LaLiga season in a poor position and they were adorned with the nickname 'La Quinta de los Ferraris'. Lorenzo Sanz had the courage to refresh that team, where we saw the likes of Panucci, Seedorf, Mijatovic and Suker emerging. This would be the side that two years after the ‘Seventh’ would win the ‘Eighth’, with a very different look about it. And for me, I don’t believe Madrid would have been proclaimed ‘The Best Club of the 20th Century' by FIFA had it not been for those two cups. The previous six were a very distant memory in 2000, but Lorenzo's achievements refreshed the minds of what the club had done.
Restoring Real Madrid
He launched the club's television and, more importantly, rescued the marketing rights that Mendoza had sold to Dorna, who sold to Gestsport, of our PRISA Group. Confident with all of this, he brought forward elections by a year to confirm the centennial presidency, but Florentino Pérez’s business and professional prestige and his intense ‘vote-by-mail’ process defeated him. He left a large debt, but also restored a universal prestige, a strong squad and the marketing element that his successor knew exactly how to use. A true Madrid man, a fan of football, and a great president. Rest in peace.