Calderon vs Perez II: the truth is out there

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There is a reason why Real Madrid presented Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at the Santiago Bernabéu on Thursday, hurriedly crow-barring him in before the weekend.

And it’s nothing to do with Ruud van Nistelrooy’s dodgy knee, Raúl’s creeping age, or the fact that this weekend’s yet another bank holiday for the country that boasts more of them than anywhere else in the world.

It’s nothing to do Míchel’s untimely resignation, storming out the Bernabéu slamming the door and flicking the Vs president Ramón Calderon’s way.

And it’s nothing to do with the injury crisis that threatens to engulf the club, as footballers drop like flies buzzing absent-mindedly into this particularly sad woman’s living room.

(And, no, La Liga Loca couldn’t believe it either: you mean you actually took the time to write a review of a tin of Raid? Jesus. H. Christ.)

It’s nothing to do with the huge clash between Real Madrid and Sevilla coming up on Sunday. Or the huge clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona, or the one between Real Madrid and Valencia or even the one between Real Madrid and Villarreal.

But it is everything to do with another colossal clash on the horizon: the one between Calderón and the members’ assembly this weekend.

Poor old Calderón is supposed to be running a football club, instead he’s running scared. Of another defeat – on the pitch and, especially, off it.

This weekend, the members are supposed to approve the club’s accounts. Much more likely – and this is what petrifies the poor presidente –  is that they will put on the greatest show of disapproval since precious Princess Potato came home and told her Daddy, King Edward, that she was going to marry John Motson.

“Absolutely not! I forbid it! No daughter of mine is marrying John Motson! Why, he’s just a commentator!”

[Ba-dum tish!]

Much more likely is that they will reject the accounts. And shout nasty things, like “Resign! Resign!” They might even push for a motion of censorship.

Which is why Calderón needed a signing – something, anything, to win them over. Some good news amidst all the doom and gloom. And quick.

Trouble is, it won't work. Never mind a pat on the back for buying the man who has scored a seriously impressive 79 goals in 97 games in Holland, Calderón’s much more likely to get a kicking.

Perhaps not so much because his reign has been awful – although it’s quickly going that way. Or even because he’s done lots of stupid things and puts his foot in his mouth so often it’s a wonder he hasn’t got athlete’s tongue. More, as La Liga Loca has pointed out before, because of the man lurking in the shadows.

The man that Calderón is genuinely scared of.

Scared? No, terrified.



Absolutely completely and utterly bloody bricking it.

Just look at his reaction at the slightest mention of Florentino Pérez’s name. Every time the former president rears his head, Calderón loses his. It’s not just anger or hatred flowing through him, it’s fear. Fear that Pérez will pinch his presidency.

Every time Pérez appears, so does Captain Paranoia, leaping onto Calderón’s shoulder and whispering in his ear: “He’s coming for you. Your days as president are over. Over, I says, over! Mwah-ha-ha!”

Just take the hot funk he fell into when Pérez appeared on the front of the Spanish press posing for a photo with Zidane and Ronaldo. A photo showing a former president and two former players. No big deal, you might think. But you’re not Calderón. 

“It’s pathetic,” he cried. “I would have liked to have seen him rear his head when things were going well, not just doing it now to try to take advantage of our tough times.”

“In fact,” he added, “never mind Ronaldo and Zidane, what about the other players? Everyone sees the photos of him presenting Zidane or Ronaldo, but I would like to see the photos of him handing Madrid shirts to Jonathan Woodgate or Antonio Cassano!”

By doing his nut, frothing at the mouth like a rabid dog, Calderón only revealed his own weakness. No one could understand why he didn’t just keep his gob shut. No one could understand why no one in his entourage didn’t tell him to just keep his big gob shut.

But you had to admit it was quite a good come back: it’s all well and good banging on about Zizou but what about the rubbish Pérez bought too, eh? What about them?

What about Cassano? Fat, lazy Cassano, the man who, by his own admission, loves a night of snacks and shagging but football? Forget it. The man who did nothing at Madrid, except put so many notches on his bed post the bloody thing collapsed. The man who took plenty of cash back to Italy but barely a footballing memory worthy of the name. What about him, eh?  

It was a good come back, alright. Only there was something not quite right about it. And it wasn’t the fact that he accused Cassano – quite possibly slanderously – of “fomenting prostitution in Madrid”. It was something else, something nagging away at the back of La Liga Loca’s tiny little mind. Something it couldn’t quiet put its finger on.

“I would like to see the photos of him handing Madrid shirts to Jonathan Woodgate or Antonio Cassano!”

Even though La Liga Loca feels a little sorry for Calderón, even though La Liga Loca is convinced that just because he’s paranoid doesn’t mean that they’re not out to get him, and even though La Liga Loca doesn’t much trust Pérez either, there was something not right about his little attack, about the choice repartee. Something that just didn’t ring true.

But try as it might – and, boy, did it try - La Liga Loca just couldn’t locate that nagging doubt.     

Until, that is, today. Until, in amongst its papers, underneath the plates and the three-week old mugs of tea growing mould, La Liga Loca found something. A photo it knew was there somewhere. A photo in Don Balón magazine. A photo that confirmed what La Liga Loca always suspected, what it thought it remembered but, what with the onset of senility, it couldn’t be sure about.

A photo that shows that no matter how hard you try, you won’t ever be able to hang Florentino for handing a Real Madrid shirt to Cassano, standing proudly alongside beaming his head off as the Italian waves an XXL No.19 at the world’s media. Because Florentino wasn’t there that day, was he Ramón? Someone else, though, was.

Can you remember who, Ramón? Go on, think back. January 4th 2006. The Santiago Bernabéu. Cassano. Italian bloke. Bad skin. Bit of a belly

Still no good? Here, maybe this photo will jog your memory:

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