Florentino calls time on Lopetegui's tenure as Madrid coach
I do feel for Lopetegui but on occasion sinners must suffer penance. The devil took him to a high plan overlooking the kingdoms of the world and said: "All this could be yours if you bow down and adore me”. He accepted the offer and thus began the hoodoo. He lost the Spanish team position and the chance of participating at a World Cup tournament with Fernando Hierro being forced to pick up the pieces. At his new role at Real Madrid, he found himself with a swimming pool that had no water with Florentino Perez not in a mood to spend money combined with the club president prepared to let Cristiano Ronaldo leave for Italy for a modest fee with the Portuguese striker and his goals not being replaced. Lopetegui's father was not inaccurate when he sated in Saturday's El Mundo newspaper that: "They've robbed my son of 50 goals".
As Variathus learned “Rome does not pay traitors", with Florentino's modus operandi of "if they said I'd seen him then I don't recall". The official communique (which was poor in taste) highlighted the amount of Balon d'Or nominees in the current Real Madrid squad, a cheap attempt to further undermine the Basque coach. What we don't have is a successor on the bench with Santiago Solari having been confirmed as a ‘provisional’ measure. The Argentine will oversee Real Madrid in their trip to Melilla on Wednesday in the cup and it's not clear who will manage the side on Saturday. Valladolid will be the visitors to the Bernabeu then, with the club now being run by Brazilian Ronaldo and the side from Castilla & Leon some three places ahead of Madrid in the league table. We'll see if in the interim Florentino makes an official comment on the ongoing situation at the club, something he's yet to do.
Good cop, bad cop
There was no mention of Antonio Conte in the press release. This was not a surprise especially after Sergio Ramos' comments claiming that "respect is won, never imposed". The defender also reminded the media that previous Champions League titles have been won at the club by managers with a cordial approach as opposed to "sergeant major types". This was a clear message to Florentino, who has been on record stating that the dressing room needed a hard-line approach. This is Conte's way and the Italian coach would satisfy the authoritative figure that was absent in the style of managing employed by the likes of Del Bosque, Ancelotti and Zidane, all three Champions League winners with the club. Sergio Ramos' words seem to have resonated as, for the moment at least, it will be Solari on the Bernabeu bench. At least, it does mean that we'll get to see Vinicius in action.