Saturday, January 20, 2007

Raul Gonzalez, Captain of Real Madrid, offered a press conference to explain the ins and outs of the meeting he and the rest of the squad had with President Ramón Calderón and what the current feelings are. "We cleared everything up during the meeting and the President has our utmost respect. Any problems will be dealt from within," explained the number '7' of Real Madrid.

What do you think of the President's statements?

The President spoke on Tuesday and we decided to meet with him to clear everything up, both these statements and other things that had also occured the days before and that bothered the squad. We spoke face to face and very clearly of what each party thought. He said he was sorry and we talked about our concerns with him. The meeting was very useful and allowed us to lay down the foundations to avoid this sort of situation in the future for the well-being of the Club, its fans and members.

Does anything that actually happened in the meeting resemble what we've heard in any way?

I have been here many years and I have never been through a situation like this one... maybe a similar one, but with different nuances. Everything that goes on in this Club has the deepest significance. The best thing about the meeting is that everyone spoke frankly about the different concerns... and some are quite complicated. Talking and discussing things, like every family does, is positive. It allows us to conform one message for the public, avoiding confusion. There's much to improve between the Club and the squad. We laid down the foundation to avoid these situations in the future. Our commitment is to keep working and fighting. This Club's prestige is at stake in the next six months

Did you ask the President to stop talking about the players?

The President can speak whenever he pleases. The members voted for him. But we need to speak in unison and deliver the same message. His statements were quite inopportune and they had a very negative reception. He said he was sorry and that his words had been taken out of context, but his statements are there. We all heard them. The image we have to portray is very different. It has to be one of unity.

Did he convince you?

We cleared many things up and we think this will not happen again. We were satisfied with the meeting. The players who were named are far more hurt, although it is a shared feeling. But what really worries us is being united. Problems have to be solved from within. We have all heard the comments about intoxicated players and the Club has said nothing publicly to deny and condemn such words. The Club was not categorical when addressing this situation and left much up to rumours and doubts. No one can doubt how professional this squad is.

Is the Club hurting you with all this ?

We spoke of that. Everyone stated what they thought. We will try to change things. Also, the way things are expressed and the forms in general could be different to avoid hurting the group.
Do you think that the President should be punished?

He has our utmost respect. The members voted for him and that's why he's the President. He came to excuse himself and present his apologies.

Did you literally tell him to "stop saying all that crap about you," as it has been reported?

We disagreed in a number of situations, but that's the reason we asked for this meeting. We have felt unprotected many times and we wanted to know what the Club's and the Sporting Director's opinion was. What we spoke of is a totally private matter. But that phrase was never used

Why didn't Ramón Calderón decide to attend Wednesday's luncheon in order to explain himself?

It was a team luncheon, which gathered doctors and equipment managers and therefore not the appropriate place for this meeting. In any event, we have Real Madrid City and the Bernabéu to speak clearly. I told him what I thought was best. I didn't hold the press conference on Wednesday because we had a very important game the next day.

It seems like something happens every day at the Club.

This worries us. We need to change this image. It is not the most appropriate portrayal of a Club with the history of Real Madrid. There has to be mutual respect, plus a respect for the members and fans. We are the first interested parties in winning. Yesterday's elimination has made us all sad. We fought hard and we can do better. But the message is one of unity and hard work. We're in a privileged situation, with intact chances both in the League and in the Champions League. It is not a dramatic situation. We were going nowhere with everything that was going on. Therefore, we discussed the path we should follow

Why didn't Capello attend Wednesday's luncheon?

The coach doesn't normally attend these luncheons. He doesn't like to. Everyone was invited, but certain people could not make it due to prior personal engagements. I couldn't go to a previous dinner the team had held and there was no problem with that. It's not a question of paying too much attention to the fact that one or two people are missing.

Did you comment on Beckham's situation during the meeting?

We spoke about everything in general and this was one of the issues. Beckham is a top professional. We cleared a number of things up. There are some players who have problems. The best thing for the squad would be for these things to be solved privately, internally. We want to go about our work in peace, without constant comments surrounsing us.

Do you think Capello helps with his decisions? Is he ready to reconsider certain things?

I sense ceratin things might change, but it is not up to me. We need to focus on our work. In life, you can't categorically dig your heels in because these players are great professionals. This situation helps no one. But who plays is a decision left entirely up to the coach.

Are you paying for Ramón Calderón's verbal incontinence?

He explained the true sense of his statements. Evidently, we had heard them before. He has our utmost respect because he is the President

Does Capello's decision break squad unity?

He takes his decisions. When he took them, he certainly did so for the good of the team, but things could have been done differently. Now that the market is wide open, if we can solve these things, better.

What did you think of the statement about Guti?

Everyone was bothered by that. Guti was "born" in Real Madrid's youth system, from a sporting perspective. He has proved himself time and again. He's a great player. If the President thinks that, he has to tell Guti in private. But he's a crucial footballer. I hope he makes a full recovery soon.

There was some confusion as to what Calderón hoped to achieve with this meeting. What was he really after?

As soon as news came of his comments, we decided to meet in Valdebebas the following day. I received a telephone call on Tuesday night to let me know that the President preferred it if all three captains went to the Bernabéu. We talked it over with the squad and we made the decision that it was better if he came here, so he did.

What did you think of Emerson being called up when he was injured?

It was strange.

Is it true that a player said during the meeting that he did not respect the President any more?

I don't think I heard anything like that. I didn't say that. In this situation, we are all to blame. We could have all done much more. We try to do our best, but we need more unity. We need to understand why things come about and happen the way they do.

Thank you all. We will see our commitment through and attempt to make all the Club members and team fans proud and happy.

Report by Luis Navarro
Photos by Daniel Sastre
Translation by Luis Orueta

this article was taken from real madrid official website. this occurs to me that a real crisis is happening at real madrid camp. with beck issue on highlight, what ramon calderon should really be doin is keep silent. and by talking to media so often, shooting his non sense speech, he set himself to more trouble. his off the record comments, was eventually aired nationally and caught ppls attention esp real madrid fans. as a president of a club, he needs to safeguard real madirids interests at whatever costs. well, i did mention before that this news would certainly get ppls attention off becks issue and it did. raul was right, ive been a fan of real madrid for 4 yrs (since beck arrival of course) and i have never heard such situation storming in real madrid camp so it must have been quite alarming. hopefully, this will teach calderon to pay a respect to ppl esp his team coz whatever said and done off the field could potentially hurt the players and as a result, three yrs without a trophy. and last match against real betis is a solid proof that the fans are growing restless by the team performance. havinng beaten by real betis in copa del rey, that means real have only 2 titles left in their sight. champions league proving to be a tough competitive championship and as for premier liga, real need more than just talent but also luck. so far, luck hasnt been their ultimate fan. im not hoping capello would soften his cold heart and let beckham play remaining matches and help his team to achieve somethin (anything), however, theres a slight chance he might let bernabeu see becks last enigma toward the end of the season. its pity i might not be able to see his action live on tv, and its the 1st time for over 10 yrs! but never mind as long as he and his family happy, we, as his fans, will not let anything stand by between his joy and dreams. anyway, beckham will not play in tomorrows game against real mallorca, its obvious isnt it? ronnie is sidelined as well, as capello put it "...hes recovering..." but i dont see him in the injury list. well i guess we know where he'll be goin, i just wish him a very best of luck and im sure he'll find success in other team, considering rumours were true bout his verbal agreement with AC Milan.

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