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do the right thing, please

February 10, 2011

The Spanish national team played at the Santiago Bernabéu last night, and the biggest ovation of the night went not to Andrés Iniesta (although he was cheered very loudly when he left the game) or any of his teammates, but to Vicente del Bosque, current coach of world champions Spain and former Real Madrid player and coach.

It seems like everyone in Spain has honored Vicente del Bosque for his achievements with the Spanish national team.  In just the past week, VDB was named a marquis, and presented with the highest honor accorded by the Comunidad de Madrid.  Since Spain won the World Cup, he’s been all over Spain (and other countries as well) receiving honors, trophies, medals, turnips and acclaim.  All that’s missing is a tribute from the club he dedicated himself to for more than 35 years, Real Madrid.

In declarations with the press this week, VDB reiterated that Real Madrid does not owe him anything, and that if anyone owes anyone anything, it’s he who owes something to the club because it’s given him a lot.  However, Real Madrid has already honored their five World Cup-winning players, so why not the technical staff (VDB, Toni Grande, Fernando Hierro), all of whom have had longer histories with the club than those players, with the exception of Iker Casillas?

In my opinion, there are two words why our club has not done so yet:  Florentino Pérez.  For those that don’t remember, Vicente del Bosque and his coaching staff (Toni Grande, Javier Miñano, Paco Jiménez – all of whom now also work with him with Spain), along with current RFEF sporting director Fernando Hierro, were basically fired by FP after the 2003 season, despite Madrid winning the Liga, in part for not being “glamorous” enough now that David Beckham was on his way to Madrid.  In his four years as coach, VDB won two Ligas and two Champions Leagues, the only major trophies FP possesses from his times as president.  So it would be an understatement to say that there are still open wounds.

The question now is, will Madrid honor VDB et al?  I think they should, and not because of all the media pressure.  This club prides itself on gentlemanly conduct (for proof, see how well they taught Del Bosque himself) and that’s how they should act.  FP should get over himself and give VDB and company the tribute that they deserve, for the years of service they put in to the club, and for representing the club so well, even years after ties were severed in the most inopportune fashion.

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2011 08:34

    Well put, Una. Be patience…

  2. IsaBella permalink
    February 10, 2011 10:20

    I agree with you Una.

  3. February 10, 2011 11:05

    I really hope that Real Madrid does honour VDB, he deserves it, and it is the least that we can do for him.

  4. February 10, 2011 11:26

    ” This club prides itself on gentlemanly conduct (for proof, see how well they taught Del Bosque himself) and that’s how they should act.” Amen!! I can think of several people deserving of more recognition from FP… sigh.

  5. suzanne permalink
    February 10, 2011 12:59

    100 million % agreed.

  6. Whiskey permalink
    February 10, 2011 13:43

    I agree 100% – but given that regime i will not hold my breath. I love the team, but the way the club conducts itself sometimes makes me cringe. VDB is class and FP could take some lessons from him in that regard.

  7. superfan permalink
    February 10, 2011 13:56

    Sometimes, I wonder where Real Madrid would be if VDB was not fired by Perez. I mean, I’ll never get why he was fired in the first place after just handing Madrid another Liga title. After his firing, I feel like Madrid went downhill. But now with Mou, we’re slowly rising again and hopefully Mou can put us back on top again. 🙂

    And I really agree with you that Madrid should honor VDB and his staff. 🙂

  8. February 10, 2011 15:04

    I agree with every word you said, the values and honor of Real Madrid are much more important than the ego of FP.

  9. ebrahim permalink
    February 10, 2011 15:47

    Una I agree completely! I was nearly brought to tears with vdb’s comments about madrid owing him nothing he shows such humility! Vdb is a club legend. Every madrista can learn from his conduct.

  10. Marie permalink
    February 10, 2011 18:26

    You always put it so well Una. You’re amazing. 🙂

  11. Lulja permalink
    February 10, 2011 18:49

    Someone should fire FP then. Perhaps this might grant the club more glam?

  12. Mani Thangadurai permalink
    February 10, 2011 21:16

    Una, I’m sorry to say this, but you cannot really expect much from a gentleman like Perez. One thing I have noticed about Real Madrid Club Presidents is that they have a huge penchant for making controversial statements and don’t even bother to mince their words…remember Ramon Calderon’s broadside on David Beckham before he left for LA Galaxy? Given the fact that Perez himself was the one who dismissed del Bosque and his group I’m not sure he’d be really willing to acknowledge the manager’s success unless as you say he puts aside his ego. The thing is that maybe he feels entitled to say and do whatever he likes without thinking about others, he also horribly accused Jerzy Dudek of being nothing more than ‘a hindrance to the development of Jordi Codina’, who is now of course enjoying himself at Getafe.

    The most important thing is to always ensure that relationships between the club and its former old servants are always good, and maybe if they were to sit down and have a chat about days gone by and make up, a tribute will happen. It’s never nice when relationships go sour in that manner. Take Arsenal FC, the club which I actually support. No player has played more games for the club than Irishman David O’Leary; with 722 appearances in a career traversing three decades, he basically devoted 20 years of his life to the club, and all in a period of play where player longetivity was very rare. But not long after he made a foray into management, he made some pretty disparaging remarks about Arsene Wenger which didn’t go down well and he basically lost a lot of friends on the board. For his service he should in fact have his own statue at the club, but now Arsenal fans and aficionados hardly ever mention O’Leary’s name anymore.

    It all boils down to whether or not both parties are willing to let bygones be bygones and apologise for any hurt or ill feelings. If that happens, the tribute will be imminent. What I especially liked about del Bosque was his willingness to drop underperforming players if and when the need arose, even Iker Casillas was not spared!

    And HOW could a team which had Zidane, Figo, Ronaldo (I think), Morientes et al be described as ‘not glamorous enough’?!

    • February 11, 2011 07:50

      No, the coaching staff was not glamorous enough for the “galáticos.”

      • Mani Thangadurai permalink
        February 11, 2011 13:26

        Glamorous, shmamorous! At least they were successful!!

  13. SunnyK permalink
    February 10, 2011 23:05

    I’m still a little bitter that VDB (and Fernando Hierro) was fired that season. If I recall correctly, we lost one Liga match all season. ONE. Insane. Anyway, I hope he does get the recognition he deserves.

  14. Ex-Madridista permalink
    February 11, 2011 09:15

    My problem with that ass FP is that he not only fired the loyal, gracious and performing VDB and his crew, but also changed the image of Madrid to be as close to the Man U of then.. Indeed, Man U itself jettisoned the likes of that useless one trick pony and overhyped David Beckham as also the supreme egoist Cristiano Ronaldo, only for the former defining Galacticos-1 and the latter – Galacticos-2, both presided by the same checkbook based ass, Florentino Perez.

    Madrid will be condemned to a long purgatory despite spending the most on talent and players while Barcelona dominates as long as Florentino Perez remains its president. Chucking away talent from the cantera…. bringing and firing coaches dime-a-dozen (and no, supreme egotist Mourinho is not going to last much either as Madrid is on track to go trophyless again this season), and killing loyalists like the gem VDB… these are the legacies of Perez.

    • Mani Thangadurai permalink
      February 11, 2011 13:25

      A bit harsh. They’re in the Copa Del Rey Final and haven’t even begun the knockout stages of the Champions’ League. You never know!

      But I agree, Perez basically should be blamed for the relative trophy drought of the club since del Bosque’s exit!

      • Ex-Madridista permalink
        February 12, 2011 08:37

        You mean .. Madrid is going to beat the Barcelona squad that just thrashed them 5-0 at the Camp Nou? i am not that optimistic.

        On the other hand, I think that with a little bit of tinkering, this Madrid squad carries a lot of potential in the long run. Keep Xabi Alonso, Iker Casillas, Ramos as the fulcrum; get Morata in soon; replenish the squad with more skilful long term talent, give them a specific identity and they will compete against the best squad in the world right now.

  15. Lily permalink
    February 14, 2011 20:05

    I agree- whatever the differences between FP and VDB, the latter contributed so much to the club and to Spanish football overall. Honouring him would be the classy thing to do, the best thing to do in fact.

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