The change announced at Real Madrid by Florentino Pérez translates, for the moment, more into departures than arrivals. Because of the tonnage of those who leave and the way they do it. Quite bumpy. Three weeks after header from Zidane to the president, in which he accused him of lack of “memory, trust and support,” Sergio Ramos said goodbye. The Sevillian’s words were not so thick, but the message did not lack darts and more or less veiled reproaches to the management. What was expected to be a more peaceful staging, unlike those starring Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo or Zizou, was not so peaceful. “I don’t want a grudge. I keep that it is a see you later ”, the 35-year-old defender tried to settle.
The effort to convey a peaceful farewell to Ramos was evident. In Valdebebas an act of “tribute” was announced with the presence of the president, the footballer’s family and the 22 trophies won in his 16 years in white. Pérez called the player a “legend” in his five-minute speech, handed him the gold and diamond badge, and everyone shared their congratulations, including tears. The general atmosphere was sad.
But once the protocol was complied with, the still captain merengue sat in the press room and presented his version of events. Why hadn’t he renewed? “The club made me an offer of one year with the lower salary [del 10% por la pandemia] and I wanted two. I want to emphasize that money was never a problem, that it was a matter of years. The president knew it. And, at this point, in the last conversations I accept the proposal and then I am told that it had an expiration date. Nobody notified me. It is super respectable, but it surprised me, “he said in a very measured speech.
His words were a balancing act between looking forward – “I will always be grateful to the president for bringing me, I’ll keep the last hug, I’m not going to make a statement against him” – and slip the wear and tear of the relationship. “Over time I have put the resentment aside, although I like to tell the truth,” he added. The more he insisted on fleeing the confrontation, the more his frustration showed. “I have never wanted to leave Real Madrid,” he lamented. Faced with the journalists’ insistence on questions that Ramos preferred not to answer so as not to go off script, he did drop that he would have liked the president to have sat down in the press room to answer the questions. “Maybe it wouldn’t have been bad,” he pointed out. Nor did he do so after Zidane’s incendiary missive.
With Ramos, labor litigation has been several in recent times. This time, however, there was no solution. At 35 and after half a season in the infirmary, the player’s cards were not enough to start another expansion. Neither with his starting position nor later, resigned to the immovable position in the offices. When he had no choice but to abide by the club’s conditions if he wanted to continue, the rules had changed. It was not in the plans of the dome. In this process of attrition, he admitted to having told the entity that he could “plan” the following season without him. “My negotiation was outside the planning,” he tried to justify himself this Thursday.
The cases of 2003 and 2018
The proclaimed turn will therefore be a full-blown cycle change without ZZ or Ramos. His substitutes have already been signed: Carlo Ancelotti, an old fox from the benches who knows the Madrid landscape and who was already dismissed in 2015 in search of “a new impulse”; and David Alaba, the former Bayern player tied up long ago, when conversations with Ramos started to go awry. Two changes that, in the absence of verifying its soccer effectiveness, show the loss of hierarchy and political weight in the dressing room.
The modern history of Real Madrid is disturbing when it loses two figures of this caliber at the same time. It happened in 2003. As soon as they won the League, Vicente del Bosque and Fernando Hierro came out abruptly. With the first they wanted to “modernize the traditional booklet” of the bench. And with the second, lower the power level of the house. The fact is that after three years came without titles, five coaches (Queiroz, Camacho, García Remón, Luxemburg and López Caro), a project of “Zidanes y Pavones” failed when it was executed in its maximum expression and a president (Florentino Pérez) who delivered the letter of resignation.
And it also happened in 2018. The departures of Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo at the time of lifting the third consecutive Champions League opened another period of great instability, also institutional, which was only able to calm the return of ZZ because in nine months two technicians had burned (Lopetegui and Solari). Now the Frenchman has left again, with an attack on the management, and Ramos has followed him behind, with misunderstanding with the leadership, at a time when the club has not yet been able to cover the offensive hole left by Cristiano. And all this in another summer of pandemic due to the financial straits so commented on by Florentino Pérez. Time of changes with reproaches in Valdebebas.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.