It almost feels silly reporting this, only because former Real Madrid manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo has told us this exact story more than once since he left. Alas, it is technically news.
In an interview with Flow Sport Club, Luxemburgo, who left Real Madrid in 2005, discussed his departure from the club once more.
“We beat Getafe and Beckham was sent off in the first half. We were winning 1-0 and in the 90th minute, I took off Ronaldo. With one less player, the normal thing is to close to win. The fans took out their handkerchiefs and started to protest.
“I left the field, I entered the tunnel, I reached a corridor. Florentino Pérez came down from the grandstand of honor and found me there. He told me ‘sir, what happened?’ I replied that nothing happened. ’Why did you change Ronaldo?’ ’Gee, President, we are winning the game.’ I’m not worried about the fans, I’m worried about Barcelona. I want to reach them.”
According to Luxemburgo, Perez then told the Brazilian manager: “At Real Madrid we have to think about the game and think about the fans. They pay, we have full capacity for all the games, they pay to see the show.”
“President,” Luxemburgo responded. “Let me tell you something I’m not enjoying this very much, no. I didn’t ask to come, you went to Brazil to hire me. I didn’t come here, please don’t. I came here because you went to Brazil and you hired me, so I’m going to do what I think I have to do. The next day I was fired.”
It should be noted that while Luxemburgo wasn’t the best coach, his story is not unique. Real Madrid did not have a balanced sporting vision in that era, and certainly Florentino interfered with team selection more than he should’ve.
Also, this feels relevant?: