“I am retiring and I am willing to sell the hype to eat”

Everyone knows Manolo Cáceres as Manolo ‘The one with the kick drum’, but this nickname could literally disappear because at 71 he is going to retire, his bar is closed, he does not plan to open it anymore and he meditates to auction some of his drums because, with only “four hundred and a half euros” that enters now a month, you need money to eat.

“They have come many times to buy my bass drum and I always said that I would not sell it for anything in the world, but now I am willing to do it,” Manolo told EFE in a conversation that started between tears and that ended with a resounding statement: “I am retiring. If it can be next month, the better ”.

To Manolo, whatHe has been cheering the Spanish team for 45 years with his inseparable hype, a virus and the crisis retire him. “I had invested in gender for these three months because the Fallas came and there were still League games. I’m in the red and the bar is no longer open. In June the lease ended because it would get worse, “he explained.

Manolo’s bar It is located one hundred meters from the main facade of Mestalla, in Valencia, a city where he settled more than three decades ago and from where he has traveled all over the world to support the team and various Spanish football clubs.

The accounts do not come out. “I earn four hundred euros which is what I pay for the mortgage, plus the expenses of the apartment. With retirement I will enter eight hundred. I do not know what we are going to do, but I have to eat and I do not know whether to auction the hype, “said the best known follower of Spanish football, who wanted to thank the owner of the premises who has forgiven her months of rent.

What Manolo still does not know is how he will find the money to continue traveling with the Spanish selection because his intention is to be in two more world championships to reach the number twelve that he has on his shirt ”.

Manolo has, as if it were a work of art, hanging in his bar, located in the Plaza de la Valencia CF fans, the hype with which he encouraged Spain in the titles, in the Euro Cup in 2008 and 2012, and its most precious asset, that of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. “We will see what I do,” he insisted.

The call received on Friday afternoon by the former player Ricardo Arias, one of the ambassadors of Valencia CF, encouraged him as much or more as the income that some friends have made him. “Arias told me that he had a bad time too. I believe that Valencia will also help me, ”said Manolo, who nevertheless does not regret anything done.

“I have spent all my money on football and for football, but I am very proud of everything ”, recalled Manolo, who above all his travels recalled his odyssey to see Iker Casillas lift the 2010 title.

“In Mexico 86 all Spaniards had a great timeBut South Africa was superior, because I got sick, I returned to Spain and then I returned for the semifinals and the final. I also had a great time in Venezuela. They called me to cheer on the Spanish under-16 team, which included Iván de la Peña and Iván Pérez, Alfonso’s brother, ”he said.

He also nostalgically recalled his stay in ten World Championships and the 15,000 kilometers he hitchhiked at the 1982 World Cup in Spain to see the best games.

“From Alicante to Valencia I went in an ambulance with a dead man”, Manolo regretted, whose worst nightmare was the 1980 Recopa final in which Valencia beat Arsenal in the penalty shootout and which was marked by the aggressions of English supporters against Valencia in Brussels and pointed out that Huesca, Zaragoza and Valencia are the three teams he has at heart.

However, Manolo’s voice changes when he explains his daily tribute to the health personnel. “Every day at eight o’clock I go out onto the balcony with my five Spanish flags and I play the bass drum with all those who come to play with me. This weekend will be special ”, he finished referring to Sunday, the last day with scheduled applause.