Influential players across Spanish football have gathered behind Fernando Morientes as the new president of the AFE players union.
The details are outlined by Marca, who quote a series of captains across the top two divisions who are giving their backing to the former Real Madrid striker and Spain international.
Morientes enjoyed a distinguished playing career – which also included successful spells at Monaco, Liverpool, Valencia and Marseille – and is now set to challenge the current incumbent David Aganzo, whom he previously played alongside in Madrid.
Aganzo has been president of the AFE since winning 98.58% of the election held in November 2017 but has come under criticism in recent times.
Like Morientes, Aganzo was also a striker during his playing days and he had replaced Luis Rubiales – who subsequently became president of the Spanish FA – in the role.
Aganzo has been in the spotlight recently over allegations of a bribe, as outlined by El Mundo Deportivo, while he has also been at the forefront of a number of union-related issues.
He has been at the heart of the discussions over football wage cuts in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the battle from Spanish women footballers to gain professional working rights and also for his opposition to La Liga’s plans to move matches abroad.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique: “We need an AFE to defend us.”
Real Betis captain Joaquin: “Who better than Morientes to represent the values of footballers?”
Villarreal midfielder Vicente Iborra: “I want to show my support for Fernando Morientes and his entire team.”
Real Zaragoza striker Miguel Linares: “I can say that right now I do not trust this association of footballers.”
Tenerife midfielder Suso: “With all this that has gone on, the image of footballers has been stained.”
Las Palmas defender Martin Mantovani: “What we need is a strong and united union.”
Racing Santander player Dani Toribio: “I don’t want a divided AFE, I want the change that the union brings.”