31 Dec 2008
Antonio Eduardo L??pez 'Beci', the former technical secretary of the club, is saying good-bye after a lifetime dedicated to Deportivo. The Lugo-born ex-player announced his retirement on December 14 and after offering 45 of his 60 years to Deportivo.

He talked with newspaper Xornal de Galicia and remembered all the things lived at the club. The following is the translation of the interview.

Q: Is time for the retirement. What is the balance of a lifetime of work?
A: I have nearly spent all my life at Deportivo. I started playing at Juveniles, from there I passed to Fabril and then to the first team. I also trained all the youth teams and ended as technical secretary, therefore I have been linked with Deportivo since I was 15. For example, when I trained the youth categories, I lived a great moments, because I love working with children. Then, at other levels, when I joined the technical secretariat, the team got some unimaginable achievements. Historically, the club will be remembered for a decade of great successes and for the achievements made by a modest club like Deportivo.

Q: What has been the key to success?
A: The president. Regardless of who is at the management, Lendoiro is a man who knows a lot about football.

Q: Throughout your career, what has been the most rewarding and least understood moment?
A: Nearly one thing is chained to the other, because what it is very rewarding is seldom understood. You need to take many decisions that are not pleasant. However, in summary, I think that Deportivo has given me great moments. We played a semifinal in Champions League and won against the best teams in Europe. Not all the teams can presume of that, not even the biggest ones. Actually, you can not live better than that.

Q: What has been the worst?
A: The relegations, and I talk about my time as a player, very hard moments, especially for those who were emotional involved with the club. The whole year's work was not worthy because the fans were very disappointed.

Q: In those difficult days, what does a footballer do?
A: Well, at my time we could not even go out to the street because you can be attacked, but even now it seems that they are going to celebrate it. It is mounted like this so.

Q: Recently you have seen a lot of players. Who has surprised you the most?
A: I remember that, during a trip to Portugal, when I was traveling to see Quaresma, I was struck by a number 7 who debuted with Sporting Lisbon. He was 17-years-old. He made four things I thought were wonderful. I am talking about Cristiano Ronaldo. Later, the president called me and I told him that Quaresma was very well, but that who has surprised me was Cristiano. The true is that he played badly, but made five or six things that I thought were from another galaxy. We asked about him, but then Manchester (United) got in the middle of everything and there was nothing to do. Similar thing happened to me with Pires: I was going to see another player and he surprised me. It's something more habitual of what people think: you go to see a player, then another catches your eye.

Q: Is it more difficult to deal with the players or with their agents?
A: With the agent is difficult, but as we already know them, you'll adapt to the situation. They do their work: they want to make money and sell, and you have to take care of them. It's hard because some are true lynx.

Q: As a technical secretary, how many calls could you receive during the summer?
A: Many, too many. In the summer, before the summer, after the summer ... Moreover, it is a very complicated world. The thieves are chasing the ones who steal. One agent offers you a player, then another person offers you the same player by the other side, then you do not even know who he is the real agent ... is a tremendous mess.

Q: Have anybody tried to cheat you at any occasion?
A: Once, an agent sent me a video of a player who supposedly had scored 70 goals in one single season. In fact, he only scored 12, but they recorded the goals from different outlets to appear more. I called the agent and told him that I didn’t want more videos from him. It should be noticed that videos can be a good way to have a reference, but a player must be seen live. But it is already clear that if you look too many deficiencies in the video, then it is not worthy going to see him.

Q: Throughout recent years, you should have lived very tense negotiations. For example, Makaay.
A; He had everything done with Bayern Munich, and was going out yes or yes. It was a very good operation. It should be remembered that he was free to go in the following year. He played his cards and we ours. We knew he was going to leave, at least we managed to obtain a good economic benefit.

Q: What has changed compared to your times as a football player?
A: It has radically changed. For example, before there were some contracts, especially for people coming from the B squad, according to which, until you were 25 you were belonging to the club. They were extending the contract with an increase of 10%, this in order to have you happy. But you were not able to go, there was no termination clause. For example, I have had offers from Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid, and I never had a chance to say "I'm going." Another difference is that now the players are better prepared in terms of fitness, food, and so on.

Q: And the fans of Deportivo, were they better before or now?
A: It is much better today. Before there were players at Depor, as Loureda or Jaime Blanco, who received an impressive opposition when they were telling the lineup in the megaphone, and they had not even entered to the pitch. Currently, not even in the worst moments I have seen the fans whistling or screaming. It has changed for good. Before, it was terrible for the home team.

Q: Do you feel that people from outside is treated better than the ones from the B squad?
A: Yes, sure. But I think that this happens at the Riazor and everywhere. If I was it a footballer at the present moment, I hardly would sign for more than three years, because then you're much seen and people get tired of you.

Q: What do you think about the bet for players coming from the house?
A: It is the panacea, what the major part of the clubs will love to achieve. However, to work with the youth teams requires great care, resources and sacrifice because we are talking about young talents. At a long-term, not all the players reach acceptable levels. However, there is no alternative for clubs that have no economic potential. They can not be separated from the B squads because they do not have money to buy players already made. Even so, or you are too smart or you have to be happy with the crumbs of teams like AC Milan or Manchester, who are already signing children of 12 or 15 years. That means that you need luck.

Q: What is the best player that you have seen throughout your life?
A: Men ... Amancio was very good, exceptional. I was also shocked by Jorge Mendoza, who was at Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and also played for Deportivo when I was very young. He had an impressive quality. That during my time as a player. Then we saw Cruyff, Maradona and company. Another struck for everyone was Di Stefano, although I saw him at his decline.

Q: In fact, you came to play against him. Isn’t?
A: Yes, I was 18-years-old and he will not know. He was at Espanyol. He was very good. In a match that we played at the Riazor, Manolete was left with his shirt in the hand, because he was escaping. I remember that he grabbed him and was not able to pick him up. And also Luis Suarez, who was pure quality, the elegance personified.

Q: Did you played with Luis Suarez at any occasion?
A: We met during a Teresa Herrera: He was on vacations and he reinforced the squad. I played up front, alone, as I could. Then he said to me: "You, when you seem me with the ball, run." I started to run, and then I saw the ball was coming exactly to my position, just at my feet.

Q: I imagine that in that game, playing alongside Luis Suarez, you should at least scored a goal ...
A: I don’t remember. Otherwise, I would say: "I picked the ball and I put it in the corner of the net." It was a very smart player. Once I told him. "Luis, I never saw you heading a ball." And he answered: "I have the head in order to think, not to strike the ball.�

Q: With so many successes, the fans have forgotten what Deportivo was a few years ago
A: We will clarify a little the issue of the fans. The fans can cover between 10,000 or 12,000 people. A larger than that number, we are talking about opportunist fans. If the team goes first, is disputing the Champions League or playing the final in Copa... we will have 20,000 fans. But when Deportivo is where it should be, we will see the true fans, which is what I call the fans of Deportivo. The city is what it is, the supports are those: nonexistent, and this costs money that should come from somewhere. And if you do not succeed, then there is nothing to do.

Q: In recent years, Depor has been among the big ones, which one was your preferred player?
A: Bebeto with no doubt. For a thousand reasons. He was a great player. There have been others who have been important too, as the case of Djalminha. What happened with Djalma is that we had a great player and we hardly had the chance to enjoy it, but he had quality.

Q: What would have happened if Rivaldo had not leave in the summer of 97, and if he had played together with Djalminha during the whole season?
A: Well ... it is clear that both were great players. But no one forget that the operation Rivaldo was very good for Deportivo. He arrived at the club for a certain amount of money and made huge profits when he left just a year later. But he left because he wanted. We would have not sold him, but they paid the buyout clause and we could not do anything to avoid his signing for Barcelona.

Q: If the operation Rivaldo was very good, what word can describe the exit of Flavio Concei?§ao to Real Madrid, for 4,000 million of pesetas?
A: That was not an operation, it was the assault on the train from Glasgow.

Q: How do you see the present and the future of Deportivo?
A: Obviously we've dropped a level, something that it was logical to occur. It would be very positive that we could maintain the current level. Looking ahead, I believe it is linked to the economic situation and the possible solutions that could be suggested by the president.



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