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Ramon Calderon slates Beckham, the world

Ramon_calderon03072006 Speaking to students in Spain, Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon made it clear that he's one disgruntled old man. Calderon slagged off Madrid's players – with special words for David Beckham – and had a pop at the fans too:

Calderon on Beckham: 'He’s going to Hollywood to be half a film star… Our technical staff were right not to extend his contract and that has been proved by the fact that no other technical staff in the world wanted him except Los Angeles.'
On Madrid's players: 'There is vanity, egoism and they all think they are superstars… Real Madrid players never pay for anything. You [the students] have education and culture and that's something that they in general don't possess.'
On Madrid's fans: 'It's a stadium where people go as if they were going to the theatre. The people don’t support the team, not like in Italy and England.'

What was Calderon thinking? It's not as if he was making these statements off the record and they were overheard by accident. He has since issued a grovelling apology:

'I want to apologise a thousand times to anyone that might have been offended… But I want people to know that everything I've done since I got here has been for the good of the club.'

And he had a specific apology for Beckham:

'Beckham has changed his approach because his attitude is not going to be the same when he moves outside of Europe… Beckham is an elite footballer and he has always shown exemplary behaviour.'

Calderon may have proved that he's unfit for a career in the diplomatic service, but I think there's an element of truth in what he says. I think Beckham's head has been turned by the bright lights of LA, Madrid's fans aren't as vocal as those in Italy and England and it's a no-brainer to accuse top players of vanity and egosim, Beckham included.

The truth is more painful when it's heard from within your own camp, as Confucius might have said.

January 17, 2007 in European football, News balls | Permalink

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