The Stars Do Not Always Shine
By Cheval John
Many sports teams around the world have developed their brands due to the championships that they won.
The New York Yankees is one team that most of the world recognize because of their 27 Major League Baseball championships they have won in baseball.
Notice I did not say “World Series Championships.”
In the National Football League (NFL), the most recognizable brand whether you love them or hate them, is the Dallas Cowboys.
They have always found a way to remain relevant despite being mediocre for about two decades before they won their division and a playoff game last year.
Each of these clubs have a rich history of winning championships in their respective leagues and the UEFA Champions League.
They are also among the richest clubs in the world according to the 2014 Forbes rankings.
And guess where Real Madrid was at?
No.1. with a value of 3.44 billion dollars.
It is not an accident that Real Madrid is No.1.
Even though they were dominant in Spain’s La Liga for most of their existence, they figured out that “star power” was what brought their fans to the matches.
The club was facing a huge debt at the time when they brought in Florentino Perez as the “president” in 2000.
Perez implemented the “Galacticos” policy in which put the focus on signing world class players that will allow Real Madrid to market their brand to their fans.
As a result, he signed recognizable football players like Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo. etc.
It took a special coach to manage these world class players and Vicente del Bosque was the right person for the work.
He led Real Madrid to an Intercontinental Crown and UEFA Champions League crown in 2002 and a La Liga title in 2003.
Unfortunately, del Bosque was relieved of his duties after the 2003 season.
My guess was that they were some football players on the team that was not happy with their playing time.
Real Madrid signed Manchester United’s David Beckham that same year.
It was a smart strategy on their part and has allowed them to be one of the most recognizable brands in the world.
This policy has continued as they signed more star players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Gareth Bale
During the 2013-14, Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey tournament against arch-rival Barcelona and the UEFA Champions League crown after defeating cross-town Atletico Madrid 4-1 in extra time.
Real Madrid added more star players like Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez during the summer of 2014.
Rodriguez got on Real Madrid and many other’s radar after he scored 6 goals in five matches during his first World Cup appearance last year.
Despite the additions, Real Madrid was not able to duplicate last year’s success though they were favored to repeat.
The Galacticos was trailing Juventus 2-1 entering the second leg of their semifinal matchup.
Real Madrid had an away goal in their favor due to the UEFA rules of which an away goal is the decider.
If X, which is the visiting team, scores two goals and Y, which is the home team, score one goal in the first leg of the knock out stages, then Y will have to score two away goals in the second leg and prevent X from scoring a goal in order to move on to the next round.
Real Madrid, who was the home team in the second leg, had to score one or more goals and prevent Juventus from scoring an away if they wanted to make it back to the finals.
Real Madrid had gotten their home goal thanks to a penalty shot by Cristiano Ronaldo that tied the aggregate at 2 and put them in position to move on to final due to the away goal.
However, they could not hang on as Juventus’ Alvaro Morata scored the much needed away goal in the second half and was able to hang on for the 3-2 aggregate win to move on to the finals and knock out the star-studded Galacticos.
The most interesting part of this narrative is that Morata is a Real Madrid “reject.”
Morata, the Madrid, Spain native, did not have much playing time while he was on the Real Madrid squad.
As a result, he was dealt to Juventus last year.
Real Madrid believed that the star power was going to get them back to the final.
They did not realized that sending Morata to Juventus would come back to haunt them.
Morata was the person who scored one of the two home goals for Juventus in the first leg and then put the nail in the coffin of Real Madrid with the crucial away goal.
And the fact that Morata did not “celebrate” those two goals showed his deep respect for the club because it allowed him to be where he is at in his football career.
There is also a possibility that Real Madrid might not win the La Liga crown as they are four points behind Barcelona with two games to play.
So if they fail to win La Liga in addition to their UEFA Champions League failure, there is a possibility that they could break up the squad and let go of current head coach Carlo Ancelloti because of their failure and their “infighting.”
So the lesson business owners can learn from “Real Madrid” is that:
You should not focus on hiring “rock stars” for your company because you will have to do everything you can to satisfy their egos.
The “rock stars” will let you down most of the time.
A person who you think is not a great fit for your company, might turn out to be the best person for your company because they could end up helping your competitor to be more successful and knock you out of business.
You cannot panic and let go of people when things are not going your way.
Lastly, you can’t expect to win them all because if you do, you get so spoiled by the victories that you will miss out on opportunities to teach your employees on becoming great leaders through the ups and downs.
To close out, here are some of the lyrics from the Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” that shows why no one including Real Madrid can’t always get what they want.
“No, you can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime, you just might find
You get what you need”
What are you thoughts on having only a star-recognized team if you run a business? Should you follow the foot steps of Real Madrid? You can leave your comments below.