Tomás Roncero: football genius

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Never look a gift horse in the mouth, they say. Now, La Liga Loca hasn’t got a clue what that actually means. But it’s not going to, oh no sir.
You can accuse us of going for easy targets all you like, you can say it’s not fair to drag up the past, and you can point at the many, many times we’ve been so very, very wrong. About football. About life. About whether that really was the Zaragoza president grinning over that pint. About whether that girl was in fact a boy.
You can even accuse us of having an unnatural obsession with howling mad Tomás Roncero. You might even be right. In fact, oddly, he might even be right (and let’s face it the fans are the biggest turncoat hypocrites of the lot). But we don’t care. This one is too good to refuse.
So, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, here’s what AS’s resident loony Tomás Roncero wrote back in February, the morning before Spain played a friendly in Malaga without Roncero’s beloved Raúl. The same Spain that has just won Euro 2008 without the same Raúl.

Aragones fights his corner

“Spain is all a-clamour. The whole country is out on the streets, crying “Raúl! Selección!” the people are always right and yesterday they provided the words for a new national anthem - the anthem that Raúl listens to with his head turned to the heavens, the one that produces goose bumps on the skin of millions of Spaniards.

Málaga is a city that loves the national team and they have decided to do something about this shameful situation [in which Raul has been left out of the national team]. Whether Luis Aragonés likes it or not 80% of fans are on Raul’s side. His 102 caps and 44 goals are but a reflection of the most important fact: Raul is a standard-bearer, the reference point, a leader for the national team.

The fans feel orphaned without him and they’ll keep on fighting to make sure he goes, come what may, to the European Championships. The key is the coach. He said the other day “the Federation should sack me” [actually, he didn’t quite say that, Tomás – LLL]. Well, it’s time to take him on his word, no more discussions. When Aragonés arrived in Malaga the other day he came across a protest: “Raúl! Raúl! Raúl!

That’s just a taster of what awaits him tonight. The whole of the stadium will appeal for justice for this prize player who has given his all to the national team for the last 10 years. Even the Federation president Villar said “Raul is the best player in Spain”. I agree, president. Let’s get Del Bosque and Camacho ready to take over from Aragonés. [Sporting director] Hierro should think about it. We need a Euro 2008 with Raúl.”

Need? Orphaned? Leader?

There, there, Tomás. Time for a lie down.

You do know I'm 69...