"Franco wants the game to end"

The great summer tournaments, far from their splendor at the end of the last century, are reluctant to disappear, but the pandemic has hit them hard and their existence is almost residual.


Teresa Herrera and Carranza have seen the best players in history parade and contain unforgettable stories and anecdotes. An encyclopedia could be written about it. The summer tournaments, in their various presentations and formats, are already part of the history of football in general and of Spanish in particular. Since the mid-twentieth century, although some saw the light even earlier, there was no capital, city or town that did not want to have its trophy, however modest it was. With the arrival of the new century, the projection reached international heights, transforming into eternal tours between continents and even into a macro competition, cataloged as the Summer Champions, organized across the Atlantic and with the participation of the best European and American clubs.

Spain was the cradle of these tournaments that served as preparation for the new season. The greats of Europe and South America were invited to meet the best teams in the country. The rivalry exceeded the significance of the friendly outright. Many were also profitable. The organizers and the participants won. During the month of August the homeland became an incomparable parade of clubs and players. From Pelé to Cruyff passing through Beckenbauer, Eusebio, Didí, Garrincha, Rivelino, Blokhine ... Although they proliferated up to around a hundred, two, preferably, dominated the best clubs and therefore exhibited the best players in the world: Teresa Herrera and Ramón de Carranza, organized by the municipalities of La Coruña and Cádiz with the collaboration of their corresponding clubs.

Teresa Herrera. Pelé, Franco and Cruyff.

Born in 1946, on August 8 the trophy will turn 76 years uninterruptedly, including the last edition that was held in December due to the pandemic. Deportivo will face Ponferradina. Gone are the years of splendor with indelible memories for fans. Augusto César Lendoiro, former president of Deportivo, is an open book about the trophy - it was born a year before the first stake - and an inexhaustible source of experiences.

The Santos de Pelé. "The first trophy that I have clear references was the one held in 1959. I was 14 years old and I saw it from an area reserved for children on the side of the grandstand. Riazor was packed. Santos de Pelé, Zito and Pepe played against Botafogo de Garrincha, Nilton Santos, Didí and Zagallo. All of them had been world champions with Brazil the previous year. Santos won (4-1), Pepe scored two goals, Pelé one ... Pelé and I had it before my eyes. Deportivo did not play, nor did any Spanish team, but the stadium was full. Then Brazilian football had a lot of pull in Spain. "

The final of the 137 minutes. "In 1973, the great attraction of the tournament was Cruyff's Ajax, who had just won their third European Cup. We all dreamed of a final against Atlético de Madrid, who had won the League the previous year. The Dutch were facing the Czech Trnava's Spartak. They won 3-0 and lost 5-3. The rojiblancos did qualify. The story of that match was that it lasted 137 minutes, until Gárate scored 2-1. 90 minutes were played, plus 30 minutes. extra time and as there were no penalties, the final did not end until one of the two teams scored ".

That's when the anecdote came up and Lendoiro was there. "They would go 130 minutes, more or less, and the field delegate, Pepe Guillin, was approached by a man who introduced himself as a member of the House of Franco and told good old Pepín that the game had to end because the Caudillo, who was in the honor box, he had to go ... but first he had to deliver the trophy to the champion. While discussing what to do about it, Gárate's goal came and the matter was solved for the good of Guillin who did not know how to solve the mess ".

The former president links to the following year. "In the next edition Cruyff returned with Barcelona. We all wanted to see him, but in the semifinals against Peñarol he was sent off after half an hour. They made a tackle from behind, the Dutchman stirred and hit the Uruguayan and both of them in the face. They went to the street. Cruyff on his foot and Peñarol's on a stretcher. Once again we were left without seeing Cruyff, who could no longer play the second game ".

Rivaldo to Barcelona. This 'trick' (1997) was already experienced as president of Deportivo. Lendoiro smiles for not crying. "As the last penalty of the shootout was transformed into the final of the tournament against PSV, I found out that Rivaldo was going to Barcelona. Alberto Toldrá told me in the same box. In the previous hours the entire operation had been managed. José María Minguella had been in permanent contact with the player. As the objective was to pay the clause of 4,100 million pesetas, they did not tell me until everything was done. Apparently Barça had tried to sign McManaman, from Liverpool, but They asked them for a fortune and they had to do something that day because the next day the market would close. I remember that Rivaldo told me what they were offering him and I couldn't tell him anything, it was four times more than what he earned at Deportivo ".

Carranza: Pereira and Leivinha

The Ramón de Carranza trophy was born in 1955 and only stopped playing last season due to the pandemic. This edition, dated August 4, will face the two rivals scheduled for the previous year, Cádiz and Atlético de Madrid, the team that has won the most titles, ten. The rojiblanco club has always been very identified with the trophy. Especially after at the end of the 1975 edition he signed two Palmeiras players, Luis Pereira and Leivinha in an express operation on the last market day. The first of them, currently president of the rojiblanco subsidiary, remembers exactly how Carranza was his catapult to Europe and more specifically to Atlético.

"In 1974, Palmeiras already won the trophy with a goal of mine in the final against Espanyol. We beat Cruyff's Barça in the semifinals and Espanyol did the same with Santos de Pelé. What had to be the final It happened to be the third and fourth place. We screwed up the party. " That consolation final was won by the Catalans (4-1), Cruyff played with the number '6' and Pelé scored the goal of honor for his team.

"The following year - Pereira continues - as champions, we repeated and beat Real Madrid in the end (3-1) and one of the goals was scored by Leivinha. That was when Atlético noticed us two. bathroom to Madrid ... Ha, ha, ha. It was Sunday, August 31. On Monday we traveled to Madrid to play the farewell to Ufarte. Then the negotiations began. Luis was the coach and it seems that he demanded the club to sign us immediately because he the registration period was closing. As our president Pascual Walter Giuliano was in San Paolo, we all returned there and on behalf of Atlético, Vice President Santos Campano and Dr. Ibáñez traveled. "

Everything closed in 24 hours. "They called us to the stadium, Palestra Italia, where the Palmeiras headquarters were, they gave us a medical examination on Thursday and we returned on Friday to meet the deadline. Atlético had signed two Brazilians shortly before, but Ivo had heart problems in The medical examination and upon signing us, they transferred Sena to Rayo. Carranza changed the lives of Leiva and me ".

Photos from as.com
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