The most fun Real Madrid president ever

When former Real Madrid president Ramón Calderón popped up in the news last week, La Liga Loca realised how much it desperately missed the batty old crackpot.

It has been just over a year since a tearful Calderón was forced to resign his post in disgrace after the vote-rigging scandal at Madrid’s 2008 AGM.

And the ex-presi has only been reported in dispatches from time to time, either when visiting judges investigating his various legal issues or when claiming that it was he - and not Florentino - who signed Cristiano Ronaldo.

But with a book on the way covering his two-and-half-years at the club, ranting Ramón has been in full tinfoil beanie hat mode complaining that those - unnamed by Calderón but not a massive leap to guess who he was talking about - out to get him “will not stop until they kill me.”

This fine piece of presidential paranoia sent La Liga Loca into flashback mode over Ramón’s best moments during his laugh-a-minute spell at Real Madrid...

Transatlantic trouble

As Real Madrid president, Calderón rarely missed the chance to ponce around the planet.

However, it was often more trouble than it was worth.

Take, for example, the day Calderón was detained for several hours in New York in September 2007 by the city’s ever-friendly immigration officials, who suspected him of being a drug lord.

It was later discovered that Ramón merely shared the same name with the gun-toting kingpin.

Still, at least Calderón actually reached his destination, unlike a trip to Mexico two months later when the plane was forced to return to Madrid after idiot pop star Melendi got a little too lubricated and caused a kerfuffle.

La Saeta - super jet

Aviation alienation reached the entire squad with the launch of the club’s private jet, designed to whisk the players around the world - as long as that whisking took place in daylight hours.

The MD-83 christened ‘La Saeta’ was so battered and bruised - and blooming noisy - that it wasn't allowed to fly at night due to the window-shattering volume of its centuries-old engines.

Overnight stays “to aid the recovery” of the players, many of whom were terrified of the old rust-bucket, were suddenly all the rage after Champions League away days before La Saeta was quietly returned to the Arizona scrapyard from whence it probably came.

Nanín? Who he?

Handsome young buck Nanín was the scapegoat blamed for organising the vote-rigging nonsense that saw Calderón kicked out of the Bernabeu.

“He’s not a friend of mine nor in my circle of trust,” was Ramón's defence over the unfortunate affair, noting that he had only met the angel-faced troublemaker five times during his time at the club.

But it was a defence that was weakened a tad when the tapes were replayed of Calderón personally thanking Nanín for helping him to win the 2006 election.

Not to mention that Nanín travelled on away trips with Calderón, had an office near the president's at the Bernabeu and went out with his daughter.

Team-building

In a speech to 150 students in May 2007 that Calderón later claimed was “private,” the Real Madrid president did wonders for team spirit by insulting Guti (the most promising 30-year-old in football), Beckham (half an actor) and pretty much the rest of the squad for being undereducated, spoilt and unwilling to pay for anything themselves.

Starstruck

Perhaps the finest moment of Ramón Calderón’s time at the club.

Perhaps the finest moment of the decade in la Liga.

Perhaps the finest moment of the last five billion years of history.

It’s Real Madrid against Roma in the Champions League and Hollywood superstar Nicolas Cage is the guest of honour at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The actor is taken to the dressing rooms to meet the players, a minion is sent to get a shirt with his name on the back, and Calderón & Co.’s fawning reaches limits never before seen with Madrid’s press head singing to their famous visitor.

But there’s one problem.

‘Nicolas Cage’ only has a passing resemblance to Nicolas Cage.

And he doesn’t really speak that much English - something well within the Con Air star's skillset.

That’s because the Bernabeu visit is all a cunning ruse by Italian comic Paolo Calabresi, who cannot believe what luck he's having in a scam set up for a TV show.

And the only person who apparently sees through the stunt is Totti, who promises Calabresi that he will not ruin the wonderful, wonderful moment when they meet in the changing rooms.

Ramón Calderón - La Liga Loca salutes you.

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