Valencia CFTODeclassifying BRAND: ‘Stories We Never Tell’, Chapter 9
ANDlValenciadidn’t have muchtime to celebrate the 1999 Copa del Rey, won inSeville on June 26, a final history withthrashed to Atlético (3-0). In the same stadium ofThe Charterhouse,while the black and white costumes celebrated the title, the then president of the AtlanticJess Gilannounced an open secret: “Claudio Ranieri to be our coach next season”. For Valencia it was not a surprise andI already had Hctor Cper tied, who had just classified theMajorcain 3 position.
The flight (or the attempt toflight) of talents from Valenciastarted atsame of celebration dinnerof the Cup. In ahotel on the outskirts of SevilleIn a huge room with round tables the entire expedition was prepared for dinner: players, families, technicians, assistants, managers. In the previous moment when they hadn’t all sat down,Ranieri approached Claudio Lpez, secretly, and asked him to follow him.
They did not go out together but one behind the other, whileThey exchanged smiles with those who crossed pathson the way. Already in the hall, a few meters to the left, they got into apantryfrom the kitchen, betweenstacked boxes of drinks and soft drinks. The room had another door just on the other side – as to serve two different rooms. With theonly light coming from outside,Ranieri told the footballer that he was going to Atlético, which had just been announced by his president. He explained that he had accepted the proposal (the rojiblanco team had been 13 and Valencia 4) becausethe Gils were going to invest a lot of money in a new project. And he said thatcounted on him to be the star striker of the Atlantic. The conversation did not take two minutes and was thelast time they spokeabout the topic.
The following days werefrenzies at the Valencia officesand in theAthletic. The rojiblanco club -with economic problems-closed with Lazio an unprecedented agreement to sign the Louse halfway. The first two seasons he played at Caldern and thereafter in Rome.“I am proud that Raneri wants to count on me”,Claudio Lopez was loved on vacation by the Atlantic from Argentina.
Apre-war status between both clubs. The then presidentPedro Cortssentenced in each public statement:“I was not happy that a team could go down,but maybe now I am starting to rejoice, “he said referring to Atlético and his sports problems in a premonitory way. Although the most remembered in the capital of Turia was dedicated to the footballer’s agent, GustavoMascardi: “He wanted to earn more money than ‘Louse’ himself.Do not go back to Valencia or take a horchata “.
Intwo weeks was solved, with the intermediation of the then vice presidentsJaime OrtYJaime Molina, with businesses in Argentina, thatHe even offered to travel to monitor that the footballerI won’t sign anything with Ogre Club. It was not necessary. After two weeks of negotiations with theCEO Manuel Llorente, theLouse became the highest paid playerof the staff with 300 million net token(1.8 million euros), the same amount paid to theagent as commission. In addition, Valencia undertook to let him out to theLazio-not to the Atlantic – the following summer. The striker was not very convinced and was the coachHctor Cperthe one who had to deal with some discipline problem, not performance. But sa is another story …