Are politics and football really bed partners? By the sounds of recent news, they could be. In Spain at least. As things stand, the former president, Mariano Rajoy, not satisfied with having been president of Spain for 14 years and 146 days, is now flirting with the idea of being the longest serving president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation. This is not unakin to him when considering his career trayectory.
Mariano Rajoy, from Galicia in the north of Spain, is known across the country for being a lifelong Real Madrid fan. He headed up the country until the Socialist leader, Pedro Sánchez, stepped into his shoes in June 2018, From there he shuffled back to Santa Pola where he resumed his career as a property registrar. No sooner had he installed himself in his office, than he obtained a place on Madrid’s most affluent street, Calle Castellana, just around the corner from home – the Popular Party’s headquarters.
Now it seems he is running, along with Iker Casillas, to preside the Spanish Football Federation. The former president seems to be taking gigantic strides since he gave up politics just under two years ago!
However, when asked about this future change in his life at his book launch recently, Rajoy was tight-lipped, assuring all, that he had come to speak about his career up until when he left politics. The second part of his life had yet to be lived and written about, were his comments. Withal, he neither confirmed nor denied the reports.
The former Spanish president is well-known for his lack of eloquence when speaking in public, and more than one of his bizzare and outlandish comments have been the target of crticism and satire. By the same token, when it comes to football he is anything but tight-lipped. In 2012 in the midst of the crisis that Spain had been thrust into, he went to Poland to support the Spanish squad. This he promptly did after bailing out the Spanish Banks, announcing in his unshakeable conservative voice “I am going to the Euro Cup because the squad deserve it and the problem is solved.” He left for Poland leaving the country astounded and still struggling.
A year later, in 2013, another of his pearl comments was made at Nelson Mandela’s funeral: “This football stadium, where we are bidding our final farewell to Mandela, is the stadium where Spain was proclaimed World Champions on this very day when playing against Holland. Therefore it is a very beautiful and emotional moment.”
Will that “very beautiful and emotional moment” be repeated for Mr Rajoy if he is elected as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation this coming summer?