It was an inexhaustible gas tank at Real Madrid de Casillas n Real at Real Madrid. When the whole team was broken and he couldn’t take it anymore, he used to fence on the grass: «Balls to Geremi». The phrase that Di Stéfano patented, referring to Gento, was heard by Del Bosque at the edge of the turn of the century, linked to the physical waste of this Cameroonian who was a tireless bull. The man from Salamanca defined it well: “Geremi can play forty hours without stopping.” Now he doesn’t stop with the challenge of getting football back. Vice president of the global union, Fifpro, the ex-madridista analyzes in an engrevista granted to ABC that the players have to return to the competition with the maximum possible security.
The return of football: «The priority is health and controls will grant security, they are necessary, essential»
—What do soccer players ask to return to combat on the field?
—All the players, all the national unions, the AFE with Aganzo, and many others, agree with us that health is the priority. And I think that footballers will return to play when they have the health guarantees of each country.
—The key is the tests? Germany (which yesterday counted three positive cases of the virus, asymptomatic in the Colony) has been carrying them out for twenty days. Spain will do them very soon.
«I send a message of encouragement to the Spanish, I love Spain very much, I have many friends there, I talk to them many times and I was very sad when I saw so many deaths on television; I was very worried »
—The tests give guarantees to soccer players and soccer to play again. The Bundesliga has been doing them for a long time and each player’s situation will have to be studied when the competition begins. All the clubs will have to do them to achieve the greatest possible security in the return of the championships.
—Spain, England, Portugal, Italy and Germany are ready to start soccer.
—Medical controls will provide security, they are necessary, essential. This desire to return to play is accompanied by all possible measures to do it properly.
Madridista for life: «I have Real Madrid in my heart, it taught me that when you play you go out to win; it is a norm for life »
—Your union emphasizes health as a priority Do you worry about having matches every three days for a month?
“It is not a problem, because we have all played every three dates throughout our career. At Real Madrid we had League, Champions and Cup games and you wouldn’t stop, you played three times in eight days. Talking about the great effort to play every 72 hours is what all footballers have always done in great clubs. In addition, this break has allowed players to rest for two months and they will return fresher.
«The work of the health workers and many thousands of other workers in Spain and in other countries is exceptional. Their dedication and the risks they acquire are exemplary; I have seen it on television every day, I talk to Aganzo and other friends from Spain and it is impressive, admirable, how people have reacted, working, helping »
—There will be five changes per game.
“It is a good agreement.” “Exceptional measures to exceptional problems”. As exceptional is the work of health workers and many thousands of other workers in Spain and in other countries. Their delivery and the risks they take are exemplary. I have seen it on television every day, I speak with David Aganzo, with other former colleagues and friends from Spain, and it is impressive, admirable, how people have reacted, working, helping.
—Then we return to soccer, tell me that feeling that produces you seeing so many deaths in Spain, a country that you love so much.
“I was and am very concerned.” I have been calling my Spanish friends since March 12, when the confinement began, and I ask them how they are. When I saw that there were so many deaths, I was very sorry. I love Spain, I lived very good years there with Real Madrid and I hope that everything is overcome and that Spain and we all get ahead. I send a message of encouragement to the Spanish. I’m looking forward to getting things back to normal step by step. The return of football will be a good sign of it.
—What did military service to Real Madrid mean to you?
“It was very important to me.” I carry Real Madrid in my heart. There I learned that you can win the lawn, not just play, and that is a rule that applies to everything in life and for life. I am a Real Madrid fan and follow all the matches.
—Well, he will be looking forward to the return of the League, because he is two points from the lead.
—Let’s see if the League returns and we can be champions. The Champions League is more complicated, but you have to look for the comeback in Manchester.
Does that mean that you think the European Cup will have a normal format? Or could it be played on neutral ground, all the matches in Qatar, as PSG wants?
—The virus makes us meet every week and we can make different decisions depending on what happens. At the moment, it will be played as always, between July and August.
—Spain, Germany and England return, but France and the Netherlands have closed the course. What do you think?
—Each country decides. France has said that PSG is champion. The Bundesliga, the League and the Premier are going forward to finish their championships and I think it’s very good.
—Football behind closed doors will cause an economic crisis in the clubs and more salary reductions for their players. What do you study?
—We are concerned and dialogue to reach agreements. We will see what happens, until when the door remains completely closed, if spectators are admitted by sections. It is early to speak. .