Perez returns unopposed as Real Madrid president
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Perez returns unopposed as Real Madrid president

Promises spectacular sporting project

Florentino Perez

Florentino Perez

Florentino Perez was returned as president of Real Madrid yesterday with no other candidates standing by the deadline of midnight on Sunday.

The three challengers who had been expected to oppose the 62-year-old construction magnate all pulled out, the club said.

Architect of the "Galacticos" policy that brought the likes of Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham to the Bernabeu, Perez has promised to construct a spectacular sporting project but has yet to name any players or the coach he plans to bring in.

Spanish media have reported that Villarreal's Manuel Pellegrini is the front runner for the coach's role and Perez has been linked with players including Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery.

"It's not just a question of regeneration, we also have to rebuild and revitalise," Perez said in an interview with El Pais, adding that the success this season of treble-winners Barcelona had motivated him to stand.

"Real Madrid needs a true revolution which brings back the excitement," he said.

"We have to seduce the fans again with a spectacular team based around great players, Spanish, foreign and from the youth academy. And we also have to recover economic strength.

"The history of Real Madrid obliges us to always have some of the best players from around the world and from Spain."

Late news

Manuel Pellegrini is the new coach of Real Madrid, the Primera Liga club said on their website last night. Chilean Pellegrini will leave Villarreal to take over at the Bernabeu in place of Juande Ramos, whose contract expires at the end of this month. New club president Florentino Perez will present Pellegrini to the media today.

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