One of the small number of individuals who could challenge Florentino Perez as the Real Madrid president has claimed he would not want Zinedine Zidane as boss.
Perez has won the last three presidential elections at the club – in 2009, 2013 and 2017 – the last two of which were without a rival candidate following a change due to the club constitution in 2012.
Enrique Riquelme – who is aged just 32 and is the founder and largest shareholder of Cox Energy – told El Confidencial last month that he intended to one day challenge Perez.
Read more: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez calls club election
Now, Riquelme has said that if he did declare to be in the running for these elections, he would look to change the coach of the club.
In quotes carried by El Mundo Deportivo, he told radio station Cope: “Zidane would not be my coach. We would think of another profile with another strategy. I personally like (Liverpool boss, Jurgen) Klopp a lot and Raúl is doing very well. We would assess it.”
Riquelme then fully condemned the decision of Perez to call for elections in the current landscape, with the season still ongoing and the economic ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic still unclear.
“Unpredictably Florentino Pérez has called mid-season elections. Who is surprised? The week we play against Liverpool and are about to play against Barça. And more in a year like this, with a pandemic and in the middle of the vaccination stage.
“I could expect many things, but I never expected such an act. Just before taking off, they asked me what Florentino could do to hurt me and I said: ‘If someone wants to do something harmful, it would be to call elections.’ And when landing in Mexico they were called!
“The movement has not only been against me but it has been a movement against the members. No one has voted for 20 years. As soon as my name rings after two days, he calls elections…I have asked the Electoral Board all the requirements to present myself by mail and they have not responded.”
Riquelme was then pushed on whether or not he would attempt to stand in the elections.
“If the elections had been in June, I would have been a candidate – 100 percent. We even saw what would happen if the elections were brought forward and I said: ‘It’s impossible, it would be too cowardly.’
“I just asked them to tell me exactly the requirements: what is the guarantee, what are the deadlines. If I can, I would love to present myself, but I unfortunately believe that it is very complicated due to the times.”
Riquelme is the founder and CEO of Cox Energy, a Spanish company of renewable energies, specifically solar photovoltaic, but is still relatively unknown.