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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 11, 2009

Perez signals candidacy for Real Madrid president

Florentino Perez, the man who brought Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham to Real Madrid, signalled on Monday that he is ready to make another bid for the presidency of the Spanish club.

"Florentino Perez will make public his intention to stand in the Real Madrid elections on Thursday," his office said in a statement, confirming his plan to run after months of speculation.

Perez resigned as Real president in 2006 after a six-year spell that saw him sign a handful of the world's most famous, and most expensive, players.

After doing a deal to sign Luis Figo during his election campaign in 2000, Perez added Zidane, Ronaldo, Beckham and Michael Owen to a squad that already featured Raul and Roberto Carlos.

Under Perez, Real won Champions League in 2002 but with the team becoming so top heavy the project ultimately collapsed and Perez walked away as the club headed towards a third successive trophy-less season.

Spanish media have linked a Perez candidacy with moves for Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Cesc Fabregas and Xabi Alonso. Spanish media have suggested Arsene Wenger and Carlo Ancelotti as favoured choices for the coach's role.

Real, who are almost certain to lose their league crown to Barcelona this season, have been trapped in institutional limbo since former president Ramon Calderon was forced out in a vote-rigging scandal in January.

They are being run by interim president Vicente Boluda until elections on June 14.

Perez, who runs one of Europe's largest construction conglomerates ACS, will officially announce his candidacy on Thursday at the Ritz hotel in Madrid.

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