Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez has been labelled a “zero as a president” by his former Barcelona counterpart Joan Gaspart.
Madrid have lifted three league titles, two Champions Leagues and the Club World Cup during Perez’s two stints at the helm, while also spending big money on a host of star names.
Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham all arrived in the early 2000s, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have also been signed for record fees in recent years.
However, Gaspart, who was Barcelona president during Perez’s first spell at Madrid, says he is a good person but still resents his presidential style after buying Luis Figo from Barca in 2000.
“I have a good relationship with Perez,” he told Cope. “I have great respect for him as a businessman too,” Marca reports Gaspart telling Cope.
“There are three different facets to Florentino Perez: Human, businessman and sporting. As a human being he is one of a kind, a great person and I like him very much.
“As a businessman, again he is one of a kind, exemplary. And as president of Real Madrid, a zero. A zero means he is that bad. I don’t like him.
“What he did with Luis Figo did me much harm personally and much harm to my team.
“He did a lot of damage in the way he did that. He’s not my cup of tea as Madrid president, but that changes when you know him as a person and a businessman.”
This summer has seen both clubs wave goodbye to legendary players. But while Xavi left Barca on good terms, Iker Casillas departed Madrid under a cloud of controversy.
“You have to respect the ways of other clubs,” Gaspart said. “Xavi went through the front door because Barca won the treble last season and because he was the captain and it’s what he deserved.
“Iker, sadly, left in a discreet way. I would have liked it if he could have said goodbye to the fans but, let’s face it, the Madrid fans didn’t behave very well towards Iker at the end.
“I wouldn’t have minded paying Iker’s clause when I was Barca president. He would have been a great goalkeeper for us.
“Iker would have loved playing for Barca but as a Madrid player, it would have been very difficult to play for another club in Spain.
“That’s why he’s gone to Porto. It’s close to home, but abroad.”