Football chairmen, owners, and presidents get a pretty bad name nowadays. They surf in from foreign lands on surfboards made of political suspicion, riding tsunami waves of gold and oil, buy your rivals the league, fire your favourite manager, and sit there wondering why the peasants are revolting (both meanings).
But we can’t tar all these suits with the same brush. Some people in power seem alright; like Delia Smith or Dave Whelan. Then you have Jamie Estrada Medranda – the president of the people.
Medranda was a youth player for Ecuadorian top flight outfit Manta FC when he jacked in his playing career, going to university to study business management.
There, after eight years of learning and working, he returned back to Manta – this time as president. That in itself is a nice tale; local player chooses football’s academic path, while staying loyal to his club. But it doesn’t stop there…
After three years in charge of the club Medranda got that ‘itch’, the itch that could only be scratched by playing the beautiful game. Unfortunately for him the Edcuador Serie A League doesn’t allow a player-president.
That didn’t stop Medranda’s passion for the game though, as he actually stepped down from the president role to re-sign for his club.
He made his debut at the weekend, eleven years after last playing. He came on in the 85th minute, and two minutes later you bet bottom cheesy Hollywood movie dollar he scored.