Who is Florentino Peréz? the man behind the Super League

Known for being president of Real Madrid and, now, the head of the controversial European Super League, but what else is known about Florentino Pérez?.

Florentino Perez

With the announcement of the SuperLiga, the fact that these wealthy clubs were seeking to considerably increase their income came to light, which revealed part of their crisis. Photo: Real Madrid CF

LatinAmerican Post | Juan Manuel Bacallado Gómez

Listen to this article

Leer en español: ¿Quién es Florentino Peréz? el hombre detrás de la Superliga

The name of Florentino Pérez has reappeared on the cover of a large part of the sports media after the creation of a European Soccer Super League was announced without the approval of UEFA (Union of European Football Federations) and FIFA (International Federation of Association Football), both regulatory entities of this sport. However, the most relevant thing in this case is that Pérez would be the president of this risky proposal, after being assigned by the presidents of the other 11 founding teams (although most of them have left the project). In an interview with Josep Pedrerol for Chiriguito, the president of Madrid assured that "if you want, I'll leave tomorrow and that the president is Joan Laporta (President of FC Barcelona)" in relation to his influence on the competition.

Although his name is currently being pointed out for presiding over this new and controversial competition, his story goes beyond this and does not only go through soccer.

Florentino Pérez is 74 years old and is the tenth richest Spaniard in the world according to Forbes, with a fortune of 2,200 million dollars , in addition to being classified as a “self-made” millionaire for having entered his own money without any inheritance . Pérez began studying Engineering of Roads, Canals and Ports at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and in 1971 he practiced his profession at the Spanish Highway Association, which he managed for three years.

Political beginnings

Despite being known for his relationship with soccer, Florentino had a career in Spanish politics, participating in two central democratic political parties between the 70s and 80s . During that time, Pérez held public positions in the Madrid City Council, including a councilor of that town, then went through the Ministry of Transport, Tourism and Communications, in 1983 he would leave politics since, according to Business Insider, the Spanish assured that The politician satisfied him, but it is in business where he finds the greatest economic profitability.

The true source of his wealth

Florentino Pérez was always linked to construction, and, when his political life ended, he decided to form his own construction company together with several partners.To do this, according to the newspaper El Mundo, they bought Construcciones Padrós, a company that was auctioned off for being in bankrupt. Pérez followed this pattern of acquiring bankrupt construction companies until in 1997 he associated with the company Ginés Navarro and they founded the group ACS (Activities of Construction and Services) where Florentino Pérez was appointed president and still continues to hold that position and owns 12, 5% of the shares .

According to Valuation review, the ACS Group has been involved in major construction projects such as the London, New York and Vancouver Undergrounds (Subways), the Saudi Arabian railway network and, recently, the new Spanish banknote factory. Grupo ACS has 179,539 employees and a value of $ 7.6 billion dollars.

Real Madrid and the transformation of soccer

In 2000, Florentino Pérez became president of Real Madrid, which, at that time, had a debt that exceeded income. However, Pérez was known to change the way of generating income in soccer, taking advantage of the public image of the players and the spaces of the stadium. In his first stage in the Spanish club (2000-2006), he renovated the Santiago Bernabéu, built Valdebebas (a sports city of 1,200,000 square meters with 12 playing fields and accommodation that was imitated by other soccer teams), in addition to sign recognized players creating the " era of the Galacticos " with Figo, Beckham, Zidane, Ronaldo among others.

In 2006, Florentino would resign from the position and then return in 2009, where, to date, he remains as president of the team, during his two stages, Real Madrid has won 47 titles, including 5 Champions League and 5 Spanish Leagues and It has been rated by Forbes as the most valuable soccer team in the world on 5 occasions.

Also read: The 5 most valuable sports teams in the world

In addition to Real Madrid and the construction company ACS, Business Insider reports that the Spaniard has other investments such as aircraft rentals. However, Pérez once pointed out that "I have never worked to earn money, because I also do not know how to enjoy it," and he also claims not to know how much fortune he has, since "the money that is in the stock market one day rises and another falls , it is difficult to know how much I have ", and despite his various businesses, he has said that he will never invest in bulls or the media.