Rafa should be commended for taking this stand

Football FanCast guest columnist Paul Chivers thinks that Rafa should be commended for taking a stand against Real Madrid and hope others will follow suit.

They say in life that you reap what you sow and Real Madrid has found out to their cost, what you get for reckless spending.

The sheer crassness of spending £137m on two players has made Los Blancos public enemy No.1. They have been condemned by all quarters from FIFA to UEFA and rightly so, because just when football was returning to some semblance of order they had to move the boundaries at the very time that stability is needed, with the economic climate as it is. I'm sure that I am not the only one who will be hoping that they fall on the face again like they did in the last Perez era

One thing it has done of course is that it has made other clubs up their prices and made life difficult for themselves. Valdano came out crying today that they won't be able to afford Xabi Alonso as their valuation fell short of what Rafa Benitez is after, but what did they really expect. Did they honestly feel that their shameless courting of the player, with the sole purpose to turn Alonso's head, was going to be met with Liverpool bent over and happy to accept whatever Real Madrid are going to give them?

The Reds should be commended for making a stand against them. Xabi Alonso is a big player for them and I have lost count of the amount of times that Rafa has come out and stated that he is not for sale and yet they keep persevering. Madrid obviously feels, in their arrogant ways, that by making their interest known in Alonso that the midfielder will fall over himself to join and try and cause unrest at Anfield in order to force a move. Unfortunately for them, Alonso isn't that kind of guy and to his credit has shown nothing but class throughout and claimed that if he is to leave Liverpool it will all have to be agreed by next week, otherwise he will happily remain at Anfield. Rafa has set his price as he is entitled to do; the fact it is vastly more than they are prepared to pay is neither here nor there as far as Benitez is concerned.

So no doubt Madrid will now turn their attentions elsewhere, Liverpool retain Alonso and the football world should applaud them for their standpoint. I only hope other clubs look to follow suit so the game collectively can slay their ambitions.


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