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Enrique Cerezo's unabashed cordiality


Yesterday we were visited by Enrique Cerezo who, as soon as walking through the door, was faced with Tomás Roncero wearing one of those t-shirts he gets from God knows where. It depicted Sergio Ramos’ header from two years ago, with the match time (92:48) printed in bold beneath. His choice of outfit wasn’t premeditated. Roncero makes extreme wardrobe decisions on landmark dates, and this week certainly passes as one of those. Cerezo was good natured about the offending article of clothing, and in an acceptingly cast a curious eye over the Real Madrid shrine festooning our journalist's computer. A Juanito figurine, a Puskas beer can, a Zidane scarf and even a bottle of Armenian cognac, gifted to him by a madridista from that part of the world.

After that we got to chatting, chatting about football. The amicability between Roncero and Cerezo has always struck us as affectionate; they are bonded together by an affinity for football and a sense of unbridled optimism. They told each other jokes, we all told each other jokes during a meeting with representatives from both sides of the Madrid divide. Football as it should be, a topic of conversation, a source of inoffensive banter, albeit one that still results in finger pointing about old injustices, many of which are imaginary. Football is not an excuse to argue merely for argument's sake.

As for the rest, the Atlético Madrid president looked happy and at ease. The only thing weighing on his chest is not having been able to get ten thousand more tickets, the number of additional Atleti fans he reckons would have made the trip to Milan but can't. The same is true for madridistas. But, all that aside, he is brimming with excitement with the imminence of a match that will put this city centre stage. Atlético have been doing things very well for a number of years now, so much so that they've broken the Madrid and Barça duopoly, and reached another European Cup final just two years after their last. Cerezo embodies the Atleti spirit superbly.