Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has called on Wednesday’s Copa del Rey Madrid derby to be played in a spirit to honour Luis Aragones.
Aragones, an Atletico Madrid icon, passed away on Saturday at the age of 75.
At a ceremony in Madrid, Perez paid tribute to the Euro 2008-winning Coach and asked both sides to mark celebrate Aragones’ life with a game played with the right attitude.
“I would like this derby to serve as an homage to Luis Aragones” Perez said.
“He marked a before and an after in the history of the national team.
“I would like to reiterate my wish that fair play dominates this derby and that we remember it as another celebration.”
The event was also attended by Perez’s Atletico counterpart, Enrique Cerezo, and the mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella.
“I hope that it will be a good day for sport, a good day for all lovers of football,” Cerezo said.
“I hope that all the fans behave well, that there is a big crowd, and that they enjoy the semi-final tomorrow and next Tuesday.”
Botella added that the fixture would be a triumph for the city regardless of the score.
“A team from Madrid will win, whatever happens.
“I would like to give my condolences to the family of Luis Aragones. Luis was a reference point. The wise man from Hortaleza.
“I am convinced that there could be no better homage than the semi-final.”
Perez also lamented that the game would be better served a round later, but fate didn’t allow for an all-Madrid final.
“We wanted, like last year, for this to be the final, but the draw went a different way.
“We will have a very difficult opponent, because Atletico are having a great season.
“We are playing a club who are our friends, even though we have a great rivalry.”