Former Real Madrid defender Ivan Helguera talked in an Instagram Live with famous Spanish journalist Mister Chip and explained the controversy in the club between the players, Florentino Perez and coach Vicente Del Bosque right after conquering the 2003 Liga title. Del Bosque’s contract wasn’t extended even though he had the support of most of the fans and the players and Los Blancos ended up signing Carlos Queiroz as his replacement.
“Yes, something happened. They wanted to get rid of Del Bosque and we wanted him to stay. We just didn’t like the way it has handled, they told us and the thing exploded. The president didn’t want to celebrate the title with us, we had to go to the City Hall and most players didn’t want to be there if Del Bosque wasn’t there. It was hard to enjoy the dinner. We went to the City Hall even though we initially agreed not to, we changed our mind but two players didn’t find out and they were fined. The season ended with Del Bosque leaving. We went on vacation without knowing what had happened,” explained Helguera.
He also said that the whole atmosphere of the squad had an effect on Real Madrid’s lack of success after Del Bosque left.
“It was one of the keys behind that, yes. Everything changed so much, we as captains didn’t know who to pay attention to, there was a conflict of interests there. Plenty of good players were signed, Makelele left and nobody wanted him to leave. Flavio was a great player but didn’t reach his potential here, while Makelele was just one of our columns and helped us defensively quite a lot,” revealed the former defender.
Del Bosque’s departure if often labeled as the main reason why Real Madrid’s Galactico era struggled after 2003 and it definitely seems that the players were not happy with the board not extending his contract.