Florentino Perez has reiterated his desire to change football in order to attract young audiences. The Real Madrid boss has made clear that he will work towards making football again the most attractive sport for young people.
Perez received the 2022 Golden Boy President of the Year prize given by the Italian newspaper Tuttosport.
« In the last 20 years a new generation has arrived and the world has changed, everything has changed in our lives, so football can only adapt, » Perez noted.
« Football is the only truly universal and global sport. We cannot allow other sports that are more organized and oriented towards change and modernity to take advantage of this to take this privileged situation away from football.
« I am working, like my predecessors and those before me, to adapt to the times I live in. We cannot allow young people to love football less and less because the games we offer are less attractive and appealing.
« We cannot allow this, we must all reflect together and give young people, who represent the future, also of football, what they expect from us. That is what we are working on and I will fight with all my strength so that football does not lose its privileged position and so that it continues to be the king of sports in all continents ».
Asked whether he prefers signing a world star or developing a youngster to become one, Perez stressed that he would rather have both types of players in his team.
« It’s the same satisfaction, because the former are great champions, the latter can become one, » Perez added.
« Let’s take the example of [Eduardo] Camavinga. He arrived here at the age of 18, he is flourishing and has his whole life ahead of him.
« [Zinedine] Zidane, on the other hand, had already become a champion and gave us the Champions League in Glasgow with that great goal.
« Real Madrid must always be a combination of both categories: champions and young talents. Now we are breeding very young people because it is increasingly difficult to buy champions, because teams don’t want to sell them.
« So we have Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo [Goes], [Fede] Valverde, [Eder] Militao, Camavinga, [Auerelien] Tchouameni in the squad. Having so many youngsters playing as starters is difficult, but it’s nice to see them alongside [Luka] Modric, [Toni] Kroos and these champions. Together with the atmosphere on the pitch, it makes us almost unbeatable ».
Perez was full of praise for Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, who led the team all the way to Champions League and LaLiga Santander glory last season.
« He is undoubtedly the best coach for Real Madrid, because he has known us for many years, » Perez noted.
« He knows our values and knows how to transmit them to the players. This makes him the perfect coach. It is difficult to find a better coach than Ancelotti. »
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