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Sainz and Villar Mir join forces in Real presidential bid

Written by: Staff
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MADRID, May 13 (Reuters) Former world rally champion Carlos Sainz and construction magnate Juan Miguel Villar Mir have joined forces in a bid to win the Real Madrid presidential election which takes place on July 2.

''We would like to confirm that after a number of meetings in the last few days, we have decided to unite our two candidatures,'' they said in a joint statement published in sports daily AS today.

Villar Mir, a former Real director under Ramon Mendoza in the early 1990s, would take up the president's post if the bid was successful while Sainz would become vice-president.

The election was called after Fernando Martin was ousted as club president at the end of April only two months after replacing Florentino Perez, who quit after nearly six years in the post at the end of February.

Other possible candidates include former president Lorenzo Sanz, leading Spanish businessman Juan Palacios, dissident director Ramon Calderon and lawyer and economist Arturo Baldasano who lost heavily to Perez in the 2004 election.

Real, who are second in the Primera Liga one point ahead of Valencia, play their final league match of the season against UEFA Cup winners Sevilla on Tuesday.

The club have not won a major trophy in the last three seasons, their worst run of form in 52 years.

REUTERS AY RK1425

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