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A triple feast of Atlético, Madrid, and the Spanish Federation


It is said that Eugenio d’Ors [a Catalan writer] said in Madrid, at seven o’clock in the evening, either give a speech or I’ll give you one. I use the phrase ‘it is said’ because I’m not sure if the timing is apocryphal. There are those who dispute it, and there are those who attribute it to Ramón Gómez de la Serna. In any case, the saying “even if it is not true, it is a good story” holds some weight in this case, and I remembered it yesterday ahead of a Christmas gathering of the press in three different places. Atlético Madrid (who were the first to set a date), Real Madrid, and the Spanish Football Federation [RFEF] all coincided in the city, almost obliged, although these days the exact opposite of obliged, to give a warm welcome to the press. It was a fine day of feeding that was the talk of the town.

Griezmann the main interest

I don’t know what Eugenio d’Ors would have done before such a ‘three-way quandary’, a phrase that I hope Alex Grijelmo will forgive me for using. There were those who went to two events, and some to all three. AS has the troops and a sufficient spirit of service to cover all three fronts, without a drop in energy to maintain the rhythm of production. The main focus, of course, was on Atlético. Not just for their right to primacy as the first to put the date in the diary (and that is without considering the excellent banquet, which was unrivalled), but also because the case of Antoine Griezmann was in the air. [Atleti president Enrique] Cerezo was sharp and precise on the topic, invoking the word that fits neatly: respect.

Villar 'a footballing Puigdemont'

At Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez appeared with a halo around his head thanks to the five titles the club has won this year, and the added incentive of the imminent visit of Barcelona for a match that could reopen or close LaLiga. Madrid never have a rest. That is both their glory and their condemnation. But the big hit of the day probably came from Las Rozas, where Ángel María Villar appeared in an act of duty. The scant press that were present, depleted by other demands, found themselves in the audacious presence of this kind of Puigdemont of football, exiled on his own territory without access to the office from which he reigned. But his delusions have grown, making old collaborators regret his presence. For them, it’s all a court.