The day Mendoza kicked Antic out and ‘gifted’ the League to Barça

first_imgIn fact, on Sunday January 26, 1992 Madrid defeated, what is life, Tenerife in Chamartín (2-1). Despite the triumph, an isolated whistle was heard from that famous Bernabeu 7 Layout. In a terrible decision that Madrid would pay dearly, a day later Ramón Mendoza insisted on consummating his clumsy strategy: kick Antic and replace Beenhakker (then sports director) on the bench. For a server and the rest of the sports press guild, the matter had a greater scorn. That Monday, January 27, the Annual Press Gala was held, so all of our colleagues were in the act, which ended at the Joy Eslava disco. Suddenly a colleague with a radio stuck to his ear among the dance music of the time said: “Mendoza has fired Antic!”At that time there was no internet like now and the means of communicating the news, apart from radio and television, was in the written press. All running to the newsroom (at that time I was in El Mundo) and it was necessary to change all the editions at dawn, reaching the entire circulation of Madrid and some other capitals. Antic, sunk, told us that it was the decision that had hurt him most in his life. He was going to make that Madrid champion. Insurance. Fate punished Mendoza and ended up losing that League on the last day … precisely against Tenerife. This is how the history of the League that should have appeared in Radomir Antic’s curriculum is written. Rest in peace, friend. That Radomir Antic was a good guy, in the most literal sense of the word, is something that those of us who knew him personally can say. But For those of us who have been printed with the stimulus of the Real Madrid shield, all that remains is to give them words of thanks and apologies at the same time. First thing because he managed to reactivate the competitive pride of that Madrid of the Quinta del Buitre, which collapsed after conquering five consecutive leagues and having repeatedly failed in Europe. After Ramón Mendoza fired John Toshack and experimented with the Di Stéfano-Camacho tandem, the late president hired Radomir Antic for the white bench on March 22, 1991. That League ended with dignity and he earned the right to continue despite the fact that Mendoza had flirted with Sacchi and had praised Pacho Maturana. The dressing room and the fans were with Antic. Mendoza came to offer him a position in the technical organization chart of the club (in fact, he remained in the club, but in an office until the end of the season, because Mendoza did not want to pay him the compensation that corresponded to him), but Antic, in an interview in AS Color, was explicit: “I have earned my continuity.” So it was.The 1991-92 academic year started very well, with a solid, supportive and very effective game, as the Serb liked. Buyo behind was a wall, Rocha showed his best version behind, Hierro was a pichichi in the position that Casemiro now occupies and that Antic invented (he scored 21 goals!), Hagi was a devil upstairs and Michel and Butragueño seemed to recover their old splendor. Barça came to be eight points behind. But there was a sad current of opinion, which insisted on saying that Madrid won “without playing well” and that the Bernabéu “was bored” despite the victories. That was penetrating and Mendoza bought the harmful message.last_img