Former Real Madrid head of security Julio Cendal, who served in his role at the Bernabeu for 24 years, gave an interview to Radio Marca to discuss his toughest assignments and to look back at some memories from his career.
Who was the player that was most difficult to protect?
“Between Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. Different atmosphere and different public, but both dragged a lot of people”
Memories from a pre-season tour in China, the Camp Nou, and the night of a bomb warning
“Perhaps the best anecdote I’ve ever experienced was in China. It was incredible how many people were outside the hotel, they camped out all night. And in Japan we went shopping at Louis Vuitton, a building like El Corte Inglés of Madrid, and they closed it entirely for David Beckham, incredible.
“Everyone remembers the Camp Nou and the night of the suckling pig, but Barça was not sanctioned. Also that night of the bomb warning, UEFA suspended the match and we had to take responsibility for the safety of all the people... It’s a very big club and that’s why there was a lot of people for and against”
Which cities have the most anti-Madridistas?
“Contrary to what people think, going to Bracelona is not a problem. The security of the club and the Mossos turn to us. The most difficult exit in Spain is Valencia.”
How did he get started as the head of security at the biggest club in the world?
“I was at Santiago Bernabéu when the goal fell and the Government Delegate felt that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They had to find a person in charge, and with that, everything began. I became the first head of security.”
Why did he step down?
“The moment had come when Real Madrid had considered a change. It has not been retirement, but a friendly agreement to stop working in the team. I want to reiterate the greatness of the entity and its president with me.”