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RESIGNED: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez
February 28th, 2006 5:18PM
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Florentino Perez, Real Madrid president since 2000, has resigned.

Perez, known for creating the ''Galacticos'' by bringing in the likes of Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham, also helped rid the club of $319.8 million of debt through a sale of the team's training center.

Under Perez, Real Madrid doubled its annual revenue in the past four years and its $328 million of earnings during the 2005-05 season saw it replace Manchester United as the richest club in the world, according Deloitte & Touche.

But Real Madrid has not won a title in the past three year. Perez fired Coach Vicente del Bosque the day after Real lifted the 2003 La Liga title. Del Bosque had guided Real to two European Champions League titles and two La Liga titles in three and a half years.

The signing of Beckham, which is credited for boosting Real's revenues, has not translated to success on the field, and Perez resigned a day after an embarrassing La Liga loss to Real Mallorca, leaving Real 10 points behind leader Barcelona. Real has gone through five coaches since Del Bosque's firing.

''We have designed a squad which combines the world's best players,'' said Perez. ''Maybe I have spoiled them and that lies at the root of their confusion. I want them to understand that the only thing that is important is Real Madrid.''

Perez, 58, a construction magnate and real estate developer, won election to the Real Madrid presidency in 2000 over Lorenzo Sanz even though Real was coming off a European Champions League title. In his campaign, Perez promised to acquire Figo from archrival Barcelona and fix Real's finances.

Board of Director member Fernando Martin Alvarez takes over for Perez.

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