Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has said the club should sell any unhappy players, even Cristiano Ronaldo, and described the Portugal international’s agent as an unsettling influence at the club.
In an online chat for Y! Eurosport on Thursday, Calderon said he would sell Ronaldo if he were still in charge, citing the sale of the then unsettled Robinho to Manchester City in August 2008 as a precedent.
“You cannot dispute talent – but if a player is not happy, he must leave,” he said. “It happened to me with Robinho. It was a very drastic situation, although we bought him for €24 million and sold him for €48 million, so it was good business.”
Calderon claimed current president Florentino Perez was no longer in real charge at Madrid, with Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, and manager Jose Mourinho holding the power.
“Jorge Mendes is now the president of the club without having been chosen by the members,” he said. “Decisions have been taken, and some players have arrived because he is their agent. The club has been left in his hands and in Mourinho’s, and the president will know why that has been done.”
Mendes’ clients at the Bernabeu include Ronaldo, Mourinho, Pepe, Angel di Maria, Fabio Coentrao and Ricardo Carvalho. Calderon said the new contract given to Carvalho last October and the signing of Coentrao for €30 million in summer 2010 were difficult decisions to understand.
“I believe it is strange that the club felt obliged to renew the contract of a player and now they have decided that he is no use to them,” he said. “It is an absurdity, like when they signed Coentrao [despite] already having the best left-back in the world in Marcelo.”
Calderon also said he did not agree with Madrid’s transfer policy in the last transfer window, especially the late business which saw Esteban Granero sold to Queens Park Rangers and Michael Essien arriving on loan from Chelsea. ” I believe it is incomprehensible that Essien has arrived and that Granero has left,” he said.
He hit out at Mourinho, saying: “Mourinho is a great coach and motivator, but sometimes he behaves in a way that must be regretted afterwards. It is something which must be sorted out with the coach himself, although doing that seems difficult to me.”
Reports in the Spanish media Friday morning said that Perez – who is keen to offer Ronaldo a new and improved contract to ensure that he stays at Madrid – attempted to greet him warmly when they met at Real’s training ground on Thursday, but the player remained cold and distant.
Calderon was Madrid president from summer 2006 until January 2009, when he resigned following allegations he had rigged a vote to confirm the club’s annual budget. Madrid won two La Liga titles during this time, but their transfer dealings were not always successful.