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The End of The Oranje Era

Orange SeaWithin the last four years, Real Madrid painted the transfer window orange with the addition of six different star players from this summer’s World Cup runners-up Holland. Today none of the men remain on the squad as the La Liga giants wrongly transferred the Dutch footballers away in favor of more well known global stars. 

Wesley Snejider, Arjen Robben, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Rafael van der Vaart, Royston Drenthe, and Klass-Jan Huntelaar are were signed by Los Blancos with the initial move being made in 2006. Van Nistelrooy was the first to join the Spanish side via the twenty million euro transfer from Manchester United. Last season the aging Dutchman was released from his contract and joined German side Hamburg for free.

And all six men were brought in over the four year stretch for a combined effort of just over $100 million euros. Today the club has only accumulated around $50 million euros for their transfer away from Real Madrid. And with Rafael van der Vaart and Royston Drenthe being sold and loaned out last week respectively, the side has zero Dutch footballers around any more. This sudden transformation away from the Clockwork Oranje side can be accredited to one man, Florentino Perez.

The side’s president is renowned for his desire for big name players. This is the same man that once brought in David Beckham from Manchester United and was eventually removed from office because of his fascination with flash and name power over substance and role players. His second go with the club appears to be no different then the first. We all know about the additions of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo last summer for grossly overpriced transfer offerss and the two stars have yet to prove they can play together. Perez’s fascination with creating such an all star packed roster means that many role players became expendable over the last two years.

The side’s greatest error last year has to be in the exit of attacking midfielder Wesley Snejder. The young Dutch superstar was purchased by the Spanish side for 22.5 million euros and sold for a mere 12.5 million euros to Inter Milan only two years later. Of course the Italian side made the transfer worth the low price paid considering Sneijder led them to their first ever treble winning season for the giants last year and this title winning effort including a Champions League final victory over Arjen Robben’s BayernMunich side. Snejder was recently named UEFA Champions League Midfielder of the Year.

Florentino Perez’s love for the megastar has proved costly when evaluating the excellent Dutch talent that the club has forced out for supposed greater players. And an experiment that only lasted four years has left the Real Madrid side with 50 million euros wasted and a treble winning effort from a rival league.

The Dutchman were overlooked and that is truly a shame for a side that has zero trophies over the last two seasons.

Creative Commons License photo credit: jpvargas