LaLiga Santander 2019 – 20The legend of the indomitable presidents (I)
Si there is a president whowould spend the adjectives of the dictionary would be Jesús Gil y Gil,the best ally of the controversy in Spanish football since he appeared in the presidency of Atlético de Madrid in 1987. His mandate, a roller coaster of joys and disappointments, was a spectacle. A character who ran over the shapes and left his mark. From a mountain of anecdotes this is a selection.
Gil became president of Atlético in 1987 with an unusual electoral program. His electoral promises includedthe transformation of the Manzanares river into navigable with the inclusion of a restaurant-boat within the reach of only the rojiblancos partners. Gil won the elections and the Manzanares continued to be a river not suitable for navigation. Nor did he fulfill another of his intentions, such as creating an athletics track around the Calderón lawn.
His great electoral trump card,The one that earned him to knock down all his opponents, was the signing of Paulo Futre, the Portuguese bullet from Porto.After arriving by helicopter, the footballer was introduced to the members at the Jácara nightclub, one of the hot spots at that time and the usual venue for pop group concerts, but completely new as a venue for the social premiere of a footballer.
Jesús Gil’s main hobbyto spend the hours before the game or at an airport or wherever it was Parcheesi,board game that he shared with his family and his closest surroundings. Vicente Calderón became the headquarters of the hobby. When he coincided with Lorenzo Sanz as president of Madrid, he played tute. If the games were played at 9 p.m. both leaders would spend hours at the table.
Ramón Mendoza, president of Real Madrid, was the main target of Gil’s attacks. In 1989 Fernando Hierro, a Valladolid player, was the target of both teams. There was an agreement with Atlético, but Madrid took him after paying compensation. With that moneyGil y Gil bought a batch of watches for their partners: ‘It is worth to exchange for a Racer watch. Gift of D. Ramón ‘.A year later, with the Milla operation, the maneuver was repeated.
Jesús Gil also enjoyed animals. He made his horse ‘Imperioso’ the most famous horse in the country. His stud was called ‘Valdeolivas’.One day he showed up at the team training at the Calderón with a lizard he called ‘Fury’. In addition, for a time, he formed an aviary on his farm in which he concentrated birds from all continents.
A BRAND report caused him an almost diplomatic problem with Greece. For a visit to Thessaloniki Gil y Gil posed witha pyramid of Danone Greek yogurts. The president knocked her downand the fact was misinterpreted in Greek lands. Gil y Gil explained that there was no negative connotation and excused himself with the Hellenic leaders.
Her relationship with José María García – who supported him in his presidential career at Atlético – as with other journalists, was volcanic.Despite being intimate, when they were angry they did not haggle for mutual praise. The journalist called him ‘King Kong Goyito’and the president returned the compliment and called him ‘the Pony of the waves’.
On May 8, 2004,a day before his heart attack, Jesús Gil saw on television the victory of Mallorca by Luis Aragonés and Etoo at the Bernabéu by 2-3.The Cameroonian made a double and the president commented in his closest circle that in the following season the Atlético forward would be “Etoo and Torres. You will see how well Etoo comes to El Niño”.
Gil’s relationship with Madrid was always a swing on the coals. On the occasion of the derby at the Bernabéu de laseason 1994-95 the president urged his fans not to go to the white stadium and opened the doors of the Calderónso that their fans could see the match through the video scoreboards. More than five thousand people watched on those screens the game that ended with a 4-2 victory for Madrid.
The 95-96 season ended with the double of the League and the Atlético Cup. The ecstasy of Gil’s work led him to paralyze Madrid witha party in which there was everything, including a ride through the main streets of the city. 16 floats pulled by almost fifty horsesThey moved the rojiblancos heroes. The rent of each of them cost 100,000 pesetas.