Money canít buy championships in Real world

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

Let Real Madrid's shocking exit in the first knockout round of the Champions League provide an example for all.

You can buy talent but you can't buy all the guts, selflessness and responsibility needed to turn that talent into championships.

Real Madrid spent more than $350 million last summer to bring Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and others to Santiago Bernabeau stadium. The ultimate goal was to be in the Champions League final when the game is played there in May.

Madrid's defeat by Olympique Lyon marked the sixth year in succession Madrid has failed to advance past the first knockout stage. The loss was particularly difficult considering the array of talent.

It didn't take long for the loss to prove all that is wrong with bringing in talent that carries with it plenty of baggage, egos and star quality. Too often, people become more adept at divesting themselves of blame than producing football that equates with the paycheques.

How a player acts off the pitch and how a team reacts after a loss is far more telling than what happens when it wins.

The sounds of the final whistle had barely faded before the recriminations began.

Facing the brunt of the attacks is coach Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean was told he had the best team on the planet and the results had to reflect that.

Kaka is a close second on the blame meter. He hasn't played well this season and didn't play well in the game against Olympique.

Ronaldo is a slick player who plays for Ronaldo. How focused can he be on the game when he constantly causes controversy? Ronaldo recently spoke about wanting to play with Wayne Rooney again.

Someone needs to tell Ronaldo to shut up and play.

Everyone is calling for Pellegrini's head. Kaka's agent called him a "coward" for substituting Kaka.

Truth is Kaka is soft and often disappears during big games. In fact, the entire team is soft.

Real Madrid and Barcelona dominate La Liga. Those teams share the wealth and the success. That type of environment does not provide the competition other domestic leagues provide, especially the English Premier League. When Madrid plays in Europe and faces adversity, it fails to compete.

Robinho, a Brazilian who played in England and with Real Madrid and is now on loan to Santos, blames the environment, saying whenever anything goes wrong in Madrid everyone blames the "foreigners."

It's the type of nonsense and speculation -- so far this year Pellegrini is supposed to have been replaced by Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho, Rafael Benitez, Guus Hiddink, Arsene Wenger, Getafe boss Michel - that prevents stability. Real Madrid has had 10 coaches since 2003.

The main reason for Real's failures in Europe is a lack of chemistry, direction and leadership. There's none of this one-for-all-and-all-for-one stuff. It's really all for me.

There was a time when the Real Madrid reputation for greatness was earned. They have won nine European club championships. But five of those were won in succession beginning in 1955. The last time they won the Champions League was 2002.

When Ronaldo was sold to Real from Manchester United, it was supposed to signal a downward spiral for the Red Devils.

Instead, they continue to flourish in their domestic league and in Europe despite the loss of key players, injuries and a heavy schedule.

That is how a team with the right chemistry responds.

Spending money is easy. Spending it wisely is another thing altogether.


Videos

Photos