Do you ever have a friend who for some reason can not make a joke? Of course you do. Apply this to a whole football club and you end up with a situation like the one Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur manager, faces today.
Pochettino spoke yesterday with a Spanish radio station about Spurs' preparations for the upcoming Champions League final against Liverpool in Madrid on June 1. Asked about the Spurs training ground in Madrid next week, it's supposed to be Ciudad Real Madrid in Valdebebas. Pochettino made an obvious joke about his previous ties to the Real Madrid leadership, which he had rejected last summer.
Hahaha, it's funny because Poch has almost left Spurs last summer! It's definitely a joke, as club communication would probably have come about through UEFA and not through an alleged telephone conversation between Poch and Madrid's President Florentino Perez, that Mauricio Pochettino, what a joker, right?
Well, Madrid has The club made the bizarre move to publish an OFFICIAL DECLARATION on its website, in which Pochettino's comments were considered 100% as face value, and basically accused Pochettino of lying
"Real Madrid CF would like to make it clear that this solicitation is absolutely wrong. Our club has always demonstrated its unrestricted availability to meet all requests from Uefa, the Royal Spanish Football Association, Club Atlético de Madrid, Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur.
"All requests submitted to Real Madrid concerned only the use of the training camps of the Ciudad Real Madrid and its dressing rooms. And all were approved by our club.
"Liverpool plans to train at our facilities on Saturday, June 1st. For his part, Tottenham will do so on Thursday, May 30 and Friday, May 31.
"Real Madrid CF would also like to emphasize that the placement of the Champions League finalists will be awarded by UEFA on organizational criteria and safety. And that our club was never asked to accommodate these teams in the facilities of Ciudad Real Madrid.
– Official statement, Real Madrid CF
It's a strange move for a club that should know better. What is not clear is whether this statement comes directly at the behest of Perez or whether it is a … Call it "overly zealous" Madrid official who tries to avert any possible criticism. But it is still strange, because it is clearly a joke that Mauricio Pochettino has made of affection, and I can not imagine that anyone but a joke understands Pochettino and Madrid, and whether it could mean that Pochettino less likely to fill hypothetical future openings in the Bernabeu. Or maybe Madrid has been affected by Pochettino's rejection in the past, and that statement comes from this disappointment. Who knows! What it means is that Real Madrid is a lot of bad money.
Interestingly enough, the Captain of Cartilage Free has taken some of the earlier drafts of Real Madrid's testimony in relation to other humorous attempts Mauricio Pochettino made in the past. We publish them here for the sake of clarity and transparency.