Life must be pretty good if you’re a Real Madrid footballer. As if being surrounded by the best players in the world wasn’t enough, you get to play in one of Europe’s best stadiums, the weather is pretty good, and you stand a decent chance of picking up some silverware at the end of the season.
Then, to top things off, once a year, a nice man drops in on the Bernabéu to deliver some presents. No, not Papá Noel, but somebody from Ingolstadt armed with the keys to 31 brand new Audis. Just one of the perks of your football club being sponsored by a car company.
Football’s wealth has been good for the automotive business. Bentley is part-funded by Premier League wages, while some of the worst customisation jobs have been led by soccer’s apparent inability to decide what’s class and what’s crass. Here’s looking at you, Stephen Ireland.
Back to the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Imagine, for a moment, that you’re a Real Madrid player when the call comes in from the patrocinador oficial. You’re told that you can choose any car from a range of models so vast it makes UB40’s line-up look small. What do you select?
The answer is the Audi R8 Spyder V10, right?
Not according to the Real Madrid squad. Of the entire squad of 31 players and the coach, only no-nonsense defender Sergio Ramos chose the R8. Even coach Zinédine Zidane, a Frenchman famous for using his head, failed to select the right car, but at least he opted for an RS6 Avant.
Worse still is the fact that approximately half the squad chose a Q7. Seriously, what? You’re supposed to be setting an example to young and impressionable kids, and yet you decide to drive a bloated and oversized SUV. At least Cristiano Ronaldo had the decency to choose an RS7 Sportback.
And what about Toni Kroos, the only German in the Real Madrid squad: surely he’d choose something suitable to fly the flag for his home nation? Nope, he opted for a grey SQ5. Something must have been lost in translation. Toni, next time, ask Audi for an RS2 from the heritage fleet.
Hats off to Señor Ramos. It turns out he’s more disciplined in the art of ‘buying’ cars than he is on the football pitch.