[Source] - Carlos had suggested coach Vicente del Bosque let the players train in the afternoons on Mondays and Tuesdays because they were still recovering from the excesses of their weekend down-time.
'I don't remember ever training in the afternoon with Vicente del Bosque,' said Figo. 'Roberto is my friend and you have to love him the way he is.'
Carlos had suggested Jose Antonio Camacho [one of Del Bosque's successors] had lasted '10 days' as Real Madrid coach because he had told the players they would have to train at 7am.
He also said Brazilian coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo lasted just three months because he took beer and wine off the dinner table the night before games.
I've talked about it a bunch, but I can't get enough of soccer stories like this. We joke about the NBA being THIS LEAGUE, it doesn't come close at all to European soccer. This isn't even the first time I've blogged about this Real Madrid team. It started with Ronaldo, who is an absolute wild card.
This squad was absolutely loaded too. You had guys like Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos (one of my all-time favorite soccer players), Zinedine Zidane, Michael Owen, Iker Casillas, David Beckham and Raul all on the roster in 2004-05. It just so happened at the same time they allegedly (I guess we need to say that to be clear) had their manager fired since they couldn't drink the night before matches.
You know what, I side with the players here. You don't mess with their thing. Who cares if they are slightly hungover if they are winning matches? You don't tell a group of guys like that what to do, you just are there to make sure no one gets arrested and put in a starting lineup. It's more about balancing chemistry and keeping everyone happy. Taking away alcohol isn't how you keep someone happy.
No one parties like soccer players and no one partied like the old Real Madrid squad. Getting rid of two coaches (allegedly) for an early training time and not letting you drink is a hell of a move. I would have loved to been a fly on the wall during the talk with the owner - on both sides. Starting with the players listing their complaints about not being able to drink to then explaining the manager that's why he was getting fired would have been high comedy.