Rubiales and the six pawns of Operation Brody, the alleged criminal plot in the federation | Soccer | Sports

Operation Brody, which has uncovered an alleged corruption plot within the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), seals the final fall from grace of former president Luis Rubiales. But the investigation carried out by the Central Operational Unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard and directed by Judge Delia Rodrigo, in coordination with the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, points to a few more names. Some with a role as leading as that of the former president of Spanish football. These are the seven key characters of the plot.

‘Pundonor’ Rubiales

From his time as a player—“mediocre, but very willful,” a friend called him—he was given the nickname Pundonor Rubiales, which now sounds more ironic than flattering. The alleged criminal plot pivots on him, which is accused of corruption or unfair administration due to the contracts for the Spanish Super Cup in Arabia or the remodeling of La Cartuja. He lived in a penthouse in Ferraz that he sold for about two million euros, he had a “meeting” with young girls in a house in Salobreña and he went on a trip with his lover to New York at the expense of the RFEF. The son of a politician and with strong ties to the PSOE, he rose to the presidency of the federation as a champion against corruption and the ways of his predecessor, Ángel María Villar, whom he has surpassed in scandals.

The former president of the RFEF, Luis Rubiales, with his lawyer in the case of the non-consensual kiss of the soccer player Jenni Hermoso, upon leaving the National Court last September.Samuel Sanchez

Prepotent; ambitious; funny; and, at the same time, feared in the corridors of Las Rozas for being authoritarian and inconsiderate. “Obsessed with women, money and power,” one of his former collaborators told this newspaper. It was an unwanted kiss to the soccer player Jenni Hermoso in the middle of the World Cup celebrations that removed him from office. Investigators also suspect his business in the Dominican Republic. If he falls, this time he will no longer be “just for a little bit.”

The faithful friend

The investigators point especially to Francisco Javier Martín, alias Baby, a former player who never went beyond the third step of Spanish football, became a businessman after leaving the ball. This suspect was with his friend Rubiales in the Dominican Republic when the arrests took place. Sources close to the investigations grant Nene an important role in the alleged criminal plot, almost on par with the former president of the federation: “They have always gone hand in hand.” Martín, linked to at least almost half a dozen companies, currently holds the positions of general director and partner of Explotaciones Hoteleras Nazaríes SL, a hotel chain. Precisely, last Wednesday, the Civil Guard searched offices of two of his establishments: one in Granada and another in Torrox (Málaga). His wife, PR, was among those detained.

Nene, during a match with Granada in the 2007 season.
Nene, during a match with Granada in the 2007 season. PACO AYALA (DIARIO AS)

The apparent brain

Tomás González Cueto was much more than Rubiales’ trusted man. Considered the mastermind of the plot, after being arrested on Wednesday, he was not released until he was at the disposal of the judge. He availed himself of his right not to testify as the case was secret. Owner of the GC law firm, he had a business relationship as an external commissioner of the federation for which he received 300,000 euros per year. In charge of defending those involved in Operation Soule for an alleged diversion of federation funds during Villar’s time, he survived Rubiales himself when he finally resigned last September and took his closest collaborators with him. He was external, but “he was in charge of everything,” according to RFEF employees.

The celebration councilor

The nickname of Celebration Councilor had begun to spread within the RFEF to refer to Pedro González Segura, director of legal services. The name of this 50-year-old lawyer from Granada, who stepped down from his position on Thursday after his arrest, has been connected to the world of football for a long time. He came to the federation thanks to Tomás González Cueto, but he had previously held prominent advisory positions at Málaga CF, with Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani; and at Granada CF, in the Enrique Pina era, Quique Pina, and Gino Pozzo. His brother Ángel is also among the main people involved in the plot.

The builder’

Sources from the Civil Guard highlight that the González Segura brothers emerge as another key piece of the investigation. In particular, Ángel, one of the only two detainees who remained under arrest until Friday, when he was brought to justice. Magistrate Delia Rodrigo, who released him, attributes three crimes to him: business corruption, document falsification and disloyal administration. Ángel González is linked to the construction company Gruconsa (in his LinkedIn profile he presents himself as its director in the Southern Zone). This company is the alleged epicenter of several scams related to alleged irregularities in works at the La Cartuja Stadium in Seville and projects in China. Ángel González also spent time at Granada CF, where he served as head of infrastructure. The club decided to fire him in 2018 after a tough confrontation with the current management, according to sources from the Andalusian team.

Ángel González Segura, leaving the Majadahonda court, this Friday.
Ángel González Segura, leaving the Majadahonda court, this Friday.Javier Lizon (EFE)

The spy’

Ramón Caravaca is a criminal lawyer and partner in the GC Legal firm directed by Tomás González Cueto. A real estate company, Egmont 2008 SL, of which he was administrator, had allegedly issued invoices to a private detective agency related to the espionage of David Aganzo, president of the footballers’ union (AFE). Caravaca was also Ángel María Villar’s lawyer when he was sanctioned by the Sports Administrative Court. A nephew of his is a member of the TAD.

Jota, the defender

José Javier Jiménez, known as Jot, arrived at the federation in 2022 as director of Human Resources. Recommended by Tomás González Cueto, he had been a manager at Baloncesto Fuenlabrada. He arrived to replace Alfredo Olivares in office; that, although he was still Director of Competitions, he lost the trust of Rubiales after the Supercopa Files, the audios published by The confidential that revealed the plot being investigated. Although Jota was Cueto’s man, federal sources assure that since he arrived at the house he applied himself a lot to be a trusted man of Rubiales, whom he defended tooth and nail.

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