Florentino Perez: “Ronaldo will be our future Di Stéfano”

Florentino Pérez is looking tired. It’s understandable, since the last two weeks he’s had no life. There were no elections needed to continue as president of Real Madrid, but the wear of the campaign tour included by the media, and the steps to several moves that will help shape his new team are proving exhausting.

MARCA.com interviewed Perez in his ACS office. Here are some of the responses he gave to them in an interview:

Q: What happened on July 16, 2000?
A: I was elected president of Real Madrid.

Q: What was the first major decision you took?
A: Appoint Alfredo di Stéfano Honorary Chairman.

Q: Rather than signing Figo.
A: They are two different things. The Di Stefano appointment was something institutional. Signing players is something cyclical. Before they stopped me in the street and thanked me for signing Figo and Zidane. And now they thank me for signing Cristiano.

Q: To be president of Real Madrid continues to be more important than being Prime Minister, as Ramon Mendoza said once?
A: Noooo … It is an honor and a great responsibility. And for the Prime Minister it would also be, I guess. They are two distinct, although they have common parts. My friends say that as I always liked politics, football was the closest thing I had: there are elections, pressure, are two public activities, are subject to criticism and this has its appeal.

Q: While Barca have Messi, Real Madrid have to have Cristiano. They are the two current flag-bearers for the sport of football, and Real Madrid cannot be without one, no?
A: Madrid doesn’t have to want Cristiano because Barca have Messi. The Madrid wants to have him because he is the best player in the world. With Messi or without Messi. And we already have. We have him for two years. It just seems like he could leave tomorrow. We want to keep him longer.

Around him we build our entire team. The best teams always revolve around a great player. At one time everything revolved around Di Stéfano, then around Zidane. Now it is logical to revolve around Cristiano. Nothing better than building around the best player in the world, is not it? We think his career can figure into the club’s history the same way as Di Stéfano.

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