JOSE A GARCIA/ BEATRIZ GUZMAN
It seems quite likely that I’ll reminisce about it right here over these next few days and it’s very possible, if God and MARCA so wish, that I’ll do it again next year. I have to confess my complete inability to resist the modest charm of the negotiating masterclass that Florentino Perez pulled off in 2000 when he took Luis Figo from Barcelona. I still revisit that day as if I were Phil Connors in Groundhog Day. With that amazing and machiavellian robbery that the Real Madrid president masterminded that day, he would have already gone into the history books just like Katrina and the Waves with ‘Walking On Sunshine’, but no, Florentino has continued to knock it out the park.
A Real Madrid pirate navigating the stormy seas of Twitter under the name on Papi Joker posted a photo the other day of the Camp Nou directors box during the Portuguese’s first return to the scene of the crime after his transfer to Real Madrid. In it you can see a young Florentino, blissfully content in front of the deafening whistles of the Barcelona support, lighting a cigarette next to the deflated Joan Gaspart. How can you not just love him?
I repeat this to myself out loud. How? How could we Real Madrid fans not love Florentino after that and after everything else that he’s done? In the lyrics of that old song by Katrina Leskanich: I feel alive, I feel the love, I feel the love that’s really real. I’m on sunshine, baby. I’m walking on sunshine. And don’t it feel good. I love you, Florentino.