Squad news

THE ENMITY WITH ZARAGOZA

30 Dec 2009
Without reaching the intensity of the relation with Valencia or Celta, the current relationship with Zaragoza is very tense after the case of Lafita, even president Lendoiro has denied the invitation of Los Maños to the usual lunch before the game.

Deportivo visits Real Zaragoza on Sunday (17h00 CET), beyond been an important liga meeting, the match represents a confrontation against a rival that, within the last two years, has entered into the list of the five most heated teams by Depor’s fans. There was always a special rivalry with Celta, Real Madrid FC, Barcelona FC and more recently with Valencia FC, but the case with Zaragoza has reached new heights.

In his long career at Deportivo, president Augusto César Lendoiro has had all kind of conflicts with the other presidents at Primera División, but he never allowed those conflicts to reach a personal level… until he met the officials of Zaragoza. Lendoiro already had problems with RCD Mallorca and his president and owner Mateo Alemany, the case for the transfer of Albert Luque even reached a local courthouse, but Depor’s president still referring to Alemany as his “friend” and even as his “ally”.

Same case than Joan Laporta, the current Barca’s president, Lendoiro never liked him, especially after Laporta told him in the middle of a game Deportivo-Barcelona that he had an agreement with Luque, just minutes before the winger missed a clear opportunity to score a goal. However, those sparks never blocked the relationship with the Catalans, maybe for the interest of Lendoiro in the youngsters of Barcelona.

But things are different with Zaragoza and its president Eduardo Bandrés; in Spain is very common that the hosting president invites the guest to a lunch before a liga match, in some cases both presidents even give a press conference, like Laporta and Florentino Pérez did before the Spanish Derby one month ago, but that won’t occur on Sunday. According to journalist Gonzalo Soto from Radio Galega, Lendoiro already rejected the invitation from Zaragoza’s officials and could even avoid the trip to La Romareda, all in order to avoid the meeting with Bandrés.

The true is that the deterioration of the relation with Zaragoza is something new; more precisely since Agapito Iglesias became the main shareholder of the Aragonian club in May of 2006. Eduardo Bandrés became the president of the club and immediately the problems with Deportivo started; for the season 2007/2008 Zaragoza attempted the signings of Lopo and Coloccini, this in order to replace the departure of Gabriel Milito to Barcelona.

Lendoiro never liked to witness how Bandrés, using the same tactics of Laporta in Barcelona, contacted both players first instead of dealing with Depor’s officials, and that later they offered a low price forcing Deportivo to assume a defensive position; however at that point the relation was still “fluid” as both clubs arranged the loan of winger Angel Lafita.

It seems that the boiling point for the conflict occurred in May of 2008, just when Depor was visiting Zaragoza has part of the liga season 2007/2008; Los Maños were fighting for the permanence, while Depor was targeting Europe. The locals achieved the victory with a last-minute goal (1-0), and it seems that the spark that lit the fire was the celebration of Zaragoza’s official at the VIP section of the stadium, just when they were in front of Lendoiro. In the end Zaragoza ended at Segunda División and Depor playing the Intertoto.

Then Zaragoza attempted the signing of another central defender of Depor, Pablo Amo, despite a two-million offer, Lendoiro didn’t listen. And everything blown apart at the start of this season as both teams had different interpretations of the loan deal for Lafita, case that still to be solved as Deportivo has presented different demands, including a protest in la liga trying to rest points to the Aragonians.  The last chapter of this “special” relationship hasn’t been written, but for the moment Lendoiro is just trying to turn the page.

ARCHIVE NEWS DEC/09

ZAPPING


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