Goodbye, Fabio and thanks for all the fish.
Yes, all those rumours are true. After leading the Merengues to a league title, Roman Calderon has finally let go Fabio Capello. This is a a direct consequence of the David Beckham fallout in which Capello maligned the English midfielder and said that he would never play in Real again. Capello undermined his players with his abrasive personality.
What I don't get is that Calderon himself undermined player confidence by stating that Beckham would amount to nothing more than "an average cinema actor, working in Hollywood." In all the initial brouhaha, Calderon himself did very little to defuse the poisonous atmosphere at Real.
A sampling of Ramon Calderon's statements:
Calderon on Beckham: 'He’s going to Hollywood to be half a film star… Our technical staff were right not to extend his contract and that has been proved by the fact that no other technical staff in the world wanted him except Los Angeles.'
On Madrid's players: 'There is vanity, egoism and they all think they are superstars… Real Madrid players never pay for anything. You [the students] have education and culture and that's something that they in general don't possess.'
On Madrid's fans: 'It's a stadium where people go as if they were going to the theatre. The people don’t support the team, not like in Italy and England.'
It was left to Raul who approached Calderon to salve the wounds. After the team rallied around Beckham, a chastened Capello apologized to his players and things got a lot better in the locker room and Real went on its winning spree with Beckham playing some of his best soccer in years. Real finally won the title after a four year drought.
Calderon on 18th June, 2007 after winning the league title.
"We managed to win the Liga with a new team, a new Coach and a new management ", he declared to Real Madrid TV. "What we have done is an important feat", he added, evidently in seventh heaven that he hadn’t had to resort to a 'we-will-do-better-next-year' speech that seemed likely at half time.
Two weeks later, Capello is gone. Calderon makes George Steinbrenner look like a saint.