Real Madrid: Florentino explains Sergio Ramos' and Zidane's departures
The president said he considers the ex-captain "like a son"; as for Zidane: "I fought for him to stay, I didn't read his letter, I don't think he wrote it”.
In less than a month, Real Madrid lost two of their most influential figures: Zinedine Zidane and Sergio Ramos. For different reasons, the departures of both men were underscored by disputes and with Florentino Pérez in the middle. In his interview on Onda Cero's El Transistor programme, the president spoke highly of both Zidane and Ramos and left the door open for them to return one day as well as giving his account of what happened in both cases.
In his farewell press conference, Ramos explained that he had an offer from the club on the table but when he accepted it, he was told it had expired. Florentino, eager not to enter into conflict with the former captain, said that the player was informed about every aspect of the offer right from the start. "I have great admiration for Sergio and I am not going to go into detail. He is a Real Madrid legend. All that needed to be said on the matter has been said. I am not going to give my version. We offered him a new contract, we told him that there was a deadline, and he didn't accept it. He thought it meant something else," he said.
"I felt upset about it. I love Sergio as though he were my own son. I brought him to the club in 2005. So of course I was sorry to see him go. The press conference? I have never taken part in one," he added, regarding Ramos' farewell. "He'll be back, this is his home. I have had the same thing with other players. I love him like a son and I wish him the best. I am not going to start talking here about who was right and who was wrong. There are no bad feelings".
Florentino: "I didn't read Zidane's letter"
After announcing that he was giving up the Madrid coaching post, Zidane wrote a letter which was published by AS (and later put on social media) which raised questions about his relationship with the president during the past few months. Florentino however, doesn't believe that Zidane actually wrote that letter. "I haven't read it, I swear. I was told it was very poor. He didn't write it. That isn't Zidane. Someone else would have written it. My relationship with him? I am as fond of him as I have always been. He is a Real Madrid legend," he said.
As for the coach's decision to leave, he added, "I wasn't surprised. It was always a possibility. I know him. It has been a very tough year and you get tired of being a coach. I fought for him to stay. I spent the whole evening with him trying to convince him. As did José Ángel Sánchez. Zidane is a very straightforward person, and when he said he wanted to leave, he meant it.
"I spent the whole evening talking to him and at no point did he ever say any of the things that were in the letter. It's been a very difficult season. I haven't spoken to him since. I don't know if he is in Madrid. I'm still very fond of him, as I always have been. If it were up to me, he'd be back coaching Real Madrid. I know that he is keen to coach France one day," Florentino continued.
The president also had words to say about the media, who he felt wore Zizou down. "A coach who does four press conferences a week ends up exhausted. Some of the questions even I didn't understand. Most people treated Zidane well, and some members of the press but otheres didn't. If you are asked the same question eight times in a press conference it's only natural that you end up felling tired".
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