The former Brazil international has revealed some of the unpleasant happenings behind the scenes when the Galacticos reign supreme at Real Madrid in the late 90s and early 2000s.
A team that had Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Brazil’s Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos among others often got away with more than a few ‘craziness’, the lot of which the latter has now made public for the first time.
Coaches came and went within a short period at Real Madrid in those early days and former Real Madrid left-back Roberto Carlos, who enjoyed a decade-long career at the Bernabéu, has now opened up on why only Vicente del Bosque stayed as manager for much longer than others.
Yet even the amiable Spanish manager was ushered out of the door in 2003 shortly after landing the Liga title.
“He (del Bosque) was more like a friend. You didn’t need rules. We knew perfectly well what he wanted. Training on Monday was at five in the afternoon. Sometimes on Tuesday as well. He didn’t ask us to come in at 11:00 because practically nobody showed up,” Roberto Carlos said as quoted by AS and monitored by Soccernet.ng.
However, the Brazilian great has less fond memories of some of his other coaches at the club, including the famously combustible José Antonio Camacho, who lasted just 22 days during his first stint in 1998 and not much longer when he returned in 2004.
“During the Galácticos era there were seven of us… it created a dangerous situation in the dressing room. We always managed the situation well, we got along well, but Camacho didn’t and he only lasted 10 days.
“He came into the dressing room, said hello to everybody and was very serious, a man with a lot of history at Real Madrid.
“Then he said: ‘I want everybody here tomorrow morning at 7am.’ We normally trained at 10:30. We talked to him to try and get him to change the time; we had our habits.”
Brazilian Vanderlei Luxemburgo, who was another Florentino Pérez appointment, also suffered similar fate despite Roberto and Ronaldo lending a helping hand to their countryman.
“The same thing happened to him (Luxembourgo). In the second game of the league season we had the custom of leaving our bags in the hotel and going for a beer or a wine before dinner. There were always two bottles of wine on the table.
“Ronaldo and me told him: ‘Professor, people here have their habits, you’ll see what they are, but don’t try to change them. Don’t take the wine off the table or stop the beers before dinner or you’ll find yourself with a problem.
“What did he do? First he took away the wine, then he banned the beers. He lasted three months. Football is a small world, the directors heard about it and it was ‘adios’.
“Today when I’m looking back I think; how is it possible that we got away with so much craziness?
“After every game it was private jets left, right and centre. We’d meet up at the private terminal at (Madrid airport) Barajas and Beckham would be off god knows where, Figo and Zidane would be off somewhere or other, Ronaldo and me… and we always had to train the day after tomorrow.
“I used to pray for Saturday fixtures so I could go to the Formula 1 on Sunday. It was private jets all over the place. It was crazy.”