The first scene took place in the changing rooms of the Santiago Bernabeu while the Real Madrid players celebrated their 35th LaLiga season on the pitch after beating Espanyol 4-0, without much opposition. Those of Vicente Moreno left in a hurry, very quickly, through the tunnel (no player even spoke to Movistar +), understanding that the leadership of that day was for the championship winning team. Francisco Rufetand, a few minutes later, he entered the locker room.
The sports director spoke with the footballers and sent an ambiguous message. On the one hand, there was a general perception that his words could be interpret as a goodbyewhile then explained aspects of the next season. A speech that clarified in the training of this very Monday. Rufete informed them, this time without hesitation, Who do you think will continue in office next season?so, in his opinion, it will end renewing his contract because President Chen Yansheng will make him a proposal.
In the absence of 21 days to go of the championship (only four games), Espanyol continues to publicly postpone decisions for later and delegates the decision to the president, Chen Yansheng, who apart from speaking with the new CEO, Mao Ye, has also had a direct line with the sports director, a person you trust. Rufete’s departure would mean a change in the sports structuretaking into account that the technical secretary arrived with him, Sunday Catoirathe youth soccer coordinator, Louis Vincent Matthewand the head of the Identity department, Hugo Whiteapart from other professionals without direct responsibility.
For this reason, one of the names that has gained strength is that of Catoira himself, Rufete’s confidant who could lead the project and follow the usual line of succession in the Chen Yansheng era. From Óscar Perarnau he went to Ángel Gómez (his technical secretary), from Gómez to Jordi Lardín (base football coordinator), from Lardín again to Perarnau, who signed Rufete for the Directorate of Professional Football and then relieved him. The president has always looked inside when he should take over from that draft. Although, for the moment, Rufete considers, and has announced this, that he will continue as sports director for at least one more year. He talks to the president, who decides.