Real Madrid’s defeat on Sunday was their 16th of the season and it will not have been lost on their president Florentino Perez that it’s their worse season for 10 years. A decade ago he was not president but he’ll remember the 2008-09 campaign because it was so bad the club held elections at the end of it and he was able came back as president – the saviour of an institution on its knees.
Vicente Boluda was briefly president during the 08-09 season and went down in the club’s history as the big mouth who insulted Liverpool before their Champions League last-16 tie saying: ‘We will piddle all over them’. Rafa Benitez’s team knocked Madrid out.
They did no better in the Copa del Rey losing to lower league minnows Real Union in the last 16. Royston Drenthe played 52 games that season – he would later fail to make an impression at Everton. Gonzalo Higuaín was still a young a striker. He top-scored with 22 goals in La Liga and 24 in all competitions. Raul also got 24 in all competitions – he was approaching the end of his time at the club but still hanging on in the side more for name than form.
The club also made the bizarre signing of Julien Faubert from West Ham in the winter window. It was difficult to know who was more stunned: the player, Madrid fans, or West Ham. The defining image of his time at the club was of him falling asleep on the bench as an unused substitute.