The legend of Futre and the referees turn on the derby

The legend of Atlético de Madrid in the 80s and 90s, Paulo Futre, today received a tribute from the club for the 35th anniversary of the season in which he debuted with the rojiblanco club, 1987-1988. In a statement to the media at the conclusion, the Portuguese spoke about next Saturday’s derby and the fact that Atlético have not been whistled for a single penalty in the league this season: «This referee (Gil Manzano) is not a good friend. At the minimum it expels you. Let’s see if Saturday is more focused and impartial. If there is VAR, they cannot fail as they did in our time. Madrid is a huge club, it is very difficult to whistle at the Bernabéu, there is great pressure. But in a derby he has to have courage, what happened in the last game in the Cup cannot happen, with the clear expulsion of Ceballos with Atleti winning 0-1. Anywhere in the world it would have been expulsion.

Futre recalled a League derby in the 1991-1992 season, in which Real Madrid won 3-2 with three games to go: “If you see that game, Madrid’s first goal, you say: how is it possible? How can that happen in a match that was a final for both of them? A goal by Luis Enrique two meters offside. And the referee an hour and a half later said it was a legal goal. We were playing the League, that year was ours ».

After attending the press, Paulo Futre has gone to the club store in the Metropolitano to sign autographs for the fans. Hundreds of people surrounded the stadium to get the signature of the Portuguese star, despite the fact that it was more than 30 years since his heyday as a rojiblanco (between 1987 and 1993). But in the act, the mythical rojiblanco 10 explained the reason for his importance in the athletic fans: «I am 56 years old, in Portugal I cannot walk down the street because I go on TV and people know me. But I don’t go on TV here, I come from time to time, and mattress children come and say: Futre. How do you know me? They haven’t seen me play! But this affection passes from generation to generation, their parents have told them about me, they have shown them videos. This hobby we are unique ».


In fact, his legend is still so valid that the club sells an 87-88 shirt at the stadium with the 10 de Futre, which, unlike the current one, is becoming a sales success. “The fact that they are selling my shirt is something unique, they have told me that if a former player’s shirt is sold by the club, it is only done by Roma with Totti,” said the Portuguese proudly.

At the beginning of the tribute, Paulo Futre received a few words of welcome from Enrique Cerezo and went up on stage significantly moved, receiving thunderous applause from those in attendance who packed the Metropolitan auditorium. «When we are children, Torres and Koke are here, one has dreams, but can never think of something as big as what I am living now, a tribute like this never enters your head, I have no words of gratitude to the club, to the fans”.

But he has had words, demonstrating his human quality, to remember some of those who are no longer here: «Chema Candela (RNE journalist), my colleagues Arteche and Marcos Alonso. Nor can I forget the president (Jesús Gil), nor the Wise Man. Without Luis Aragonés I would not be here today.

The aforementioned Koke and Fernando Torres have taken the floor. The current captain recalled an anecdote when the League was being played two years ago. «It was incredible, I received a message from Paulo encouraging the entire team and giving us strength. That someone like you was so aware of us gave us a lot of strength ».

“Futre changed my life”

For his part, Fernando Torres has stressed that in his case it was his grandfather who told him about the greatness of Futre. «I was very young in his first stage, I had to see him in videos, before it was not so easy. Atlético de Madrid is a brave, dynamic club that wants to do great things. And that was Paulo and that is why he is loved so much. He has continued linked because he is one more athletic, a mattress at heart. And for me he is a very special person because he called me to train with the first team, he was then the sports director, and he changed my life ».

Paulo has recalled how he went to see Torres when he was in the lower categories, after he had shone in the Under-16 European Championship of which Spain was proclaimed champion. «I called him, he came shy and I told him: ‘Tomorrow you will train with the first team. You are ready?’ And he told me: ‘yes, I’m ready’. I spoke to the coach and told him that he was coming to train, that the boy was ready to play. And two weeks later he made his debut against Leganés, then in Albacete the goal and the myth begins. It is the great achievement that I had as a sports director, “said Futre.

At the event, former teammates from the Portuguese’s time, such as Manuel Sánchez Delgado Manolo, Abel Resino and Tomás Reñones, also took the floor. «Futre was very important in my career and later an eternal friend. I was lucky to be there, I grew up with him and I will never forget him. And as a person he is a 20, he gives you everything. He is the ambassador of the values ​​of our clubthat passion, that loyalty, that feeling that he puts, is an example for everyone, “Manolo has exposed.

Luis Aragones and Pizo Gomez

Futre recalled an anecdote, before the Copa del Rey final won at the Bernabéu in 1992, in which Manolo was present. «They pounded on the door of the room and it was Luis. It was 9 in the morning and I had taken a pill because I couldn’t sleep against Madrid. And the coach opens the blind and tells me: ‘look me in the eye, Portuguese’. And I: ‘damn mister, can’t you tell me this at one in the afternoon?’. He told me that he wanted me to tell him Pizo’s story with the Madrid players. And I got up like a spring. He took out the rage that he had inside of me. Pizo came to training in the morning and four Madrid players stopped next to him at a traffic light. And they began to say: ‘Pizo, you are my idol, can you give me an autograph?’ When Pizo tells us that, it was an insult to all of us and to all the fans, to all the colchoneros. Then Luis told me: ‘now you can’t fail me, especially Pizo Gómez. Today the Madrid players have to ask you for autographs. It is forbidden to fail’. He was a born motivator ».

Their children

One of the most emotional parts of the event was when Futre’s two sons, Paulo and Fabio, took the stage, dressed in their father’s shirts from that time, which are the ones sold in the club store. «I have been here for six years as a coach, and in a chat with the Alevines I asked them who was their reference and who was their idol. For many children, the benchmark was his father and the idol was the cracks of the first team. And a boy told me that his father’s idol was my father. I was speechless. And I told him that I am very lucky, because I have my reference in life and my idol in the same person», Fabio recounted significantly moved.

Finally, Paulo Futre Junior has joked that he was the other Paulo Futre, the one you ask for on AliExpress: «Not long ago I said that he is the original and I am the private label. And he replied: ‘White? Red and white!’ This is what Atleti means to him. Fabio and I grew up in other countries, between Italy, France, England, Portugal, Spain. And the affection that the people here had for him made me think: ‘I don’t understand it, but they love him more than my grandmother.’ He taught us dribbling, spouting, swimming, he was proud of his swimming, if people knew if it was a penalty or not. And over time I saw that what he did is done by very few people. The passion that he transmits. Over time I realized that he was exceptional. He recently gave us a scare, but he was so good that he even bargained for that, a heart attack ».

At the end of the act, the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez Almeida, the Portuguese ambassador to Spain, Joao Mira Gomes, and the club’s CEO, Miguel Ángel Gil Marín, who left a recorded message on video, also spoke. since it is in the United States. «For my father and my family you are not another person. With your arrival, a club that was going through very bad times woke up, and with the character, courage and heart of my father and yours, you recovered the enthusiasm of the people. You have been a player, a legend, a friend and we want you to continue to be so for many more years. So take care of yourself and know that we love you,” concluded the CEO of Atlético de Madrid, recalling the figure of his father, who became president of the club in 1987 at the hands of Paulo Futre as a star signing.


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