All the goodbyes of Alfredo di Stéfano

Real Madrid still have the LaLiga title within reach, it is true, but in Valdebebas, more than the celebration, which depends on a stumble from Atlético in Valladolid, it seems to be preparing a salvo of farewells. To begin with, that of Alfredo di Stéfano himself as the stadium of the first team. Since football returned at the end of the lockdown, the club has repeated that the team would return to the Santiago Bernabéu when the public was readmitted to the stadiums. Given the progress of vaccination and its effect on the evolution of the pandemic, in addition to the first partial openings already at the end of this season, the next one aims to start already with spectators in the stands of all fields.

Although Di Stéfano could still have one last afternoon with Zidane and his boys. If the carom happens and Madrid win the title, they would all have to return this Sunday to Valdebebas for the delivery of the trophy. Upon reaching the presidency of the federation, Luis Rubiales decided to give the cup as soon as there was a champion. He even pointed out that Alegre jewelry would manufacture several replicas if an uncertain ending was reached in which, like this time, the winner was settled at the same time in several stadiums. This Saturday it won’t be like that. The only cup, deposited in Las Rozas, will go this Sunday to the Wanda Metropolitano or Di Stéfano, where it was delivered last year, also after a match against Villarreal.

In another match against Villarreal, this one at the Bernabéu, on May 17, 2006 – it is hardly just 15 years – Zinedine Zidane left Madrid as a footballer, without consuming the contract he had signed. After the meeting this Saturday (18.00, Movistar LaLiga), he could add his third unfinished contract with the club. She has been avoiding saying in public whether she wants to stay or would rather leave for weeks, even if she has already made up her mind. However, he has been sowing those elusive public appearances with phrases with the aroma of a goodbye card: “I love my players very much. They have saved me on the pitch, in the sense that they have always given everything, in all the games. That is why I will always be very grateful to these players ”, he stressed this Friday. Beyond the duel against Villarreal, little: “The only thing after tomorrow’s game [por este sábado] for everyone is to rest a little. But that is normal. And enjoy whatever happens, “he said.

Sergio Ramos, 39 days after his association with the club expires, still has other missions ahead of him. After having been able to participate in only five games with Madrid in 2021, the captain still has the European Championship ahead of him, for which Luis Enrique will give his first squad list on Monday. “I would always take Sergio with me. Forever. Whatever happens, ”said Zidane on Friday, and included it on his list for this Saturday against Villarreal, the first time since the Champions League semi-final against Chelsea in London.

This is Ramos’ last chance to play before he plunges into the unknowns of his contract, the selection and even his uncertain desire to participate in the also uncertain Tokyo Olympics.

Who will not appear on the grass of Di Stéfano this Saturday is Eden Hazard, the most expensive signing in the history of Real Madrid, who closed his season on Friday in the same place where he opened: the gym. According to club sources, he suffered an overload on his right thigh, although medical tests found no injury. It is, in any case, his sixth muscular mishap of the course, which added to the coronavirus he suffered, leaves his participation in 896 minutes of 21 games. In the previous season, his first at the club, he appeared in 22 games, in which he added 1,545 minutes.

It could be the last afternoon for Zidane, Ramos, Lucas Vázquez from the injured stands, and even from the stadium. But not only from them. Since Madrid fell to Alcoyano, Second B, in the first round of the Cup, the club’s high command has reported that they are facing an “end of the cycle”, in which they imagine many sales, high-profile purchases and a Bernabéu in which it is already intuited what will be. And maybe one more League.

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