The Fifth of the Mouse. And the Vulture…

La Quinta del Buitre, a myth in the shared history of that dream that was and is Real Madrid. I speak of the Quinta del Buitre because I know it from the inside and from the outside. Those years one was from FC. Barcelona by osmosis; a strange osmosis but that made me happy -relatively-. Perhaps because of the postcards that José Luis Núñez’s secretary /’whatever’ returned to me, with affection and to Malaga with a signature that had the credibility of Pujol and offspring. Or for my cousin, who later became a frog and a vet, but that’s another story. Then I fell off the donkey, or off the horse like San Pablo, and everything changed. Everything changed then. It was a day that I knew

that Madrid was me made a city, and I became a Madridista. I became a Madridista “tenazón”, as they say in Ávila. By will, which is a power of the soul.

As time passed, I got to know the Quinta del Buitre from within because, since I began to study Ruano, I became friends with Miguel ‘Ratoncito’ Pardeza, the philologist, the wisest of the five. The Aragonese from Huelva, a pure ‘settler’ who, for wanting to be born, would have been born in Zaragoza.

Oh, the Fifth of the Vulture, a name given by Julio César Iglesias to a combination of carpetovetonic stars. Grupeta that put Chamartín again on the path of group myth, and forgive the redundancy. Now I look at the photos and I see them like this, in a pineapple, although Pardeza went to shoot the north wind and see Nayim from the center of the field in Paris: a miracle. And even if Butragueño was more timid than he is now. (The constructive laconicism of the “Vulture” deserves a book, by the way).

In the flash, in what old photographers call the flash of magnesium, they are there, all five. Children of Castilla, pension for someone in the Plaza Matute and the discipline that, some years later, followed the code imposed by Don Santiago Bernabéu. Martín Vázquez had a mustache and appeared in the paintings of computer arcades of Prehistory, and Michel was the idol of the thug girls and Butragueño, alas, of the marriageable women and Velázquez’s fiancées. Pardeza was like a Swede and blonde but Andalusian, with a vague resemblance to a Swede mixed with Di Stéfano… And then Sanchís, who has made a ‘Wildeian’ pact with the Devil. And so it will continue ‘per secula seculorum’. I haven’t tried it.

My story, I say, are memories of a Madridista cookie in Padre Damián, and ‘a clear Zidane where Glasgow matures’ in the glory of the class. The Proustian biscuit was a Chiquilín with coffee in Miguel Pardeza’s office at the Bernabéu on a sunny morning: a presentation by the above signer “as a prose writer” to Butragueño and his relative surprise when I, unsuccessful and federated in football, called him “Emilio” . He saw me and took his heart to his business, what would the other say.

Yes, milk. What does the Community of Madrid do well in rewarding them. In truth, they are the last of the Philippines. It all started in Castilla. As the world we know today was born in Castile. Always Castile: banner and glory of girls and conquerors. What it is today, for example, Michel puts on his tie sometimes and Pardeza is on his way to Nadal: the Fifth continues to give war. The Castile. And Butragueño (Blond Pelé the Aztec press called him) can stop the Ukraine thing if he puts his mind to it…

CODA: I love you. Each one with his cross and his sword. Like me with mine: I played 30 seconds in Regional. Let the newspaper archives also speak, Borja Díaz.

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