Italy-bound Redondo feels wrath of Real fans

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The Independent Football

While Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars made civilised exits yesterday, Fernando Redondo was not so lucky. The Argentinian international, on his way to join Milan, needed a police escort to shield him from angry Real Madrid fans who had gathered at the city's airport.

While Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars made civilised exits yesterday, Fernando Redondo was not so lucky. The Argentinian international, on his way to join Milan, needed a police escort to shield him from angry Real Madrid fans who had gathered at the city's airport.

Redondo, 31, moved from Real Madrid to Milan on Thursday for a fee of around £11.5m. Although the demonstration remained relatively peaceful, police intervened to protect Redondo from discontented fans who had been jostling with waiting reporters.

He left Real's training camp in the Swiss town of Nyon yesterday morning, returning to the Spanish capital to resolve personal and family issues.

Redondo's status as a hero to the Real fans - after two Spanish league and two Champions' League triumphs during his six years at the club - has quickly disappeared and has had to suffer public vilification during the last 24 hours.

The Spanish daily Marca revealed on its front page on Friday that it had acquired a copy of the transfer contract before the Real president, Florentino Perez, had signed it, but after Redondo had. The document was released to the newspaper by a club source. "Redondo signed first. Madrid want to demonstrate that the Argentinian wanted to go," Marca commented.

The report pointed out that the sequence of events contradicts Redondo's comments on Tuesday when he outlined reasons why he supposedly wanted to stay in Madrid. Ironically, the player could make his debut for Milan against Real on Tuesday when the two teams meet at San Siro to celebrate the Italian club's centenary.

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