Dani of the 100 Days: From Summer Hype To Cold Reality. By QPR Report
QPR Report takes us back to the summer and the revelation that Queens Park Rangers had signed Spanish wonder-kid Daniel Parejo
The return to Real Madrid of Daniel Parejo after just a few short months at Loftus Road, brings to a disappointing end what just a few months earlier had appeared to be a brilliant, bold, mold-shattering signing, exemplifying the new QPR era under Flavio Briatore and friends.
First came the press story in early summer reporting that QPR’s Briatore and Managing Director, Alejandro Agag had met with Parejo`s agents about a possible move.
Then at the beginning of August, QPR and Real Madrid made their respective announcement: The radically different announcement approaches reflecting the vast chasm between the two clubs: For QPR it was the signing of the century for which they held a press conference, streaming it live.
And throughout it was made very clear: This was a Chairman Briatore signing made possible by his contacts and ‘Friendship’ with Real president Ramon Calderon. And beyond Parejo, it was the harbinger of future QPR signings.
For Real Madrid, it was the ho hum sending out on loan of one of their youngsters. This was reflected in the Real Madrid announcement, which in its entirety said: “Real Madrid Castilla’s Daniel Parejo has been loaned to Queens Park Rangers for one year. The youth team midfielder will therefore play in the Football League Championship next season, where he will continue progressing and honing his skills.”
QPR by contrast devoted a lengthy statement to Parejo’s arrival: “Spanish Starlet Signs”
Queens Park Rangers Football Club have agreed a deal with Real Madrid for highly-rated midfield ace Daniel Parejo Munoz.
Rangers have beaten off stiff competition from a number of Europe’s top Clubs – including Arsenal, Deportivo La Coruna, Espanyol, Getafe and Villarreal – for the young starlet, who made his name playing for Madrid’s nursery Club Castilla last season.
QPR Chairman, Flavio Briatore, said: ‘This is an incredible coup for Queens Park Rangers Football Club.
‘We are delighted to have agreed a deal to sign arguably the hottest prospect in European football.
‘I am eternally gratefully to Ramon Calderon (Real Madrid President) for giving QPR the opportunity to sign such a talented young player.
‘Daniel is a great, young talent and we are looking forward to welcoming him to the QPR family.’
Currently rated as the best youth player in Madrid’s set-up by the legendary Alfredo di Stefano, the 19 year-old made 33 appearances for Castilla in the 2007/08 season, scoring ten goals.
He also featured for Madrid in this weekend’s Emirates Cup, where his 85th minute header clinched a 2-1 victory for the Spaniards against Hamburg.
Parejo said: ‘I am very happy to be coming to London to play for Queens Park Rangers.
‘When Madrid informed me I could come here on loan, I – and my family – were very excited.
‘I had a very nice meeting with Mr Briatore and he has great ambitions for this Club.’
Parejo emerged as a possible target for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger after he sent scouts to check on the youth international during last year’s Under-19 European Championships, but Rangers have stolen a march on the North London giants to clinch the teenager’s signature, to the delight of R’s boss, Iain Dowie.
Dowie said: ‘Daniel is a special talent and I am delighted that we’ve been able to add him to our ever-improving squad.
‘It’s an incredibly exciting signing for the Football Club – a real coup.
It shows the benefit of having Flavio Briatore’s contacts and we’re indebted to him and his relationship with Ramon Calderon that we’ve managed to bring in one of the brightest youngest prospects in Spain.
‘He’s one of the stars of their academy. He gets it and gives it and is the link man we’ve been looking for.
‘He’s comfortable on the ball, has great technique and is deadly from set-pieces.
‘To get in any Real Madrid starting XI, you’ve got to be a very good player and I’ve got no doubts whatsoever that he’ll prove to be a very good addition to our squad.’
Arguably Spain’s brightest prospect, Parejo inspired his nation to win the Under-19 European Championships last summer.
A technically gifted midfielder with pace and skill in abundance, Parejo has been earmarked by the Spanish giants as the next product off their impressive academy production line, following in the footsteps of international trio Raul, Iker Casillas and Guti.
And in press reports the following day: Briatore was quote by Sky Sports: ‘One or two years in England will make him tough,
‘The championship is very tough, he is a kind of superstar in Spain but he is a normal guy who will do well here.’
And the Daily Mirror reported that: ‘QPR yesterday signed Real Madrid wonderkid Daniel Parejo and vowed to continue to raid Europe’s top clubs in their quest to reach the Premier League.
Chairman Flavio Briatore used his friendship with Real president Ramon Calderon to seal a one-year loan deal for Parejo 19, fending off Arsenal, Deportivo La Coruna and Villarreal for the youngster’s signature.
And Briatore warned the rest of the Championship he is well connected at clubs such as AC Milan and Juventus and is not afraid to splash the cash on the cream of Europe’s talent. ‘I obviously have very good links with Real Madrid, but also with AC Milan, Juventus and other top clubs,’ aid Formula One supremo Briatore after completing the deal for Parejo, who starred at last weekend’s Emirates Cup.
‘A lot of the time in England people just go for the same players. You often have five or six managers watching the same player – it’s a very closed country.
‘What we will try to do is open our eyes and work with the likes of Real Madrid, AC Milan and Juventus. We aren’t looking only in the UK.
‘We are lucky in that we have a reputation for doing things properly and we have been in sport a long time. We know who our targets are and maybe Dani is here with us for a year, two years, maybe forever – let’s see how well he does.’
Well a few months later after various stories about Briatore insisting on Parejo’s place in the team; and various match reports about Parejo’s non-performance during various games; the Parejo ‘experiment’ has come to a premature end. Hopefully the Chairman, with his third permanent manager of 2008, will have learned some lessons about the Manager-Chairman Relationship; and re the signing of players.
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