Atletico's Pablo apologises to fans for Real blunder

July 15, 2006

MADRID, July 15 (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid's Spain defender Pablo Ibanez has asked for the fans to forgive him after he agreed to a possible move to bitter city rivals Real during their presidential election campaign.

One of the candidates in Real's election, Juan Palacios, said the player was prepared to swap the Vicente Calderon for the Bernabeu if his bid to be president was successful.

Palacios lost to Ramon Calderon leaving the 24-year-old centre back to face the anger of the red and white half of the city.

'My representatives told me about it while I was at the World Cup and when I saw the money they were offering and that they were serious I agreed to their proposition,' Pablo told a news conference on Saturday.

'Perhaps I was a little naive but that is no excuse. It wasn't a clever thing to do with our eternal rivals. I am going to prove to the fans that I am sorry by giving my all for the shirt as I have been doing.'