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Alexander Grinberg, from sporting dream to personal nightmare

Alexander Grinberg, from sporting dream to personal nightmare

"We're going to put this club where it deserves to be, in the First Division!" Less than 16 hours after making that promise, the president of Marbella FC, Alexander Grinberg, was under arrest.

On Monday he celebrated the club's 2-1 home victory over Las Palmas Atlético at a restaurant: raising his glass of white wine, he said he was proud of his players and vowed to continue supporting the club. On Tuesday he was indeed there as usual, but this time he had a police escort.

Grinberg is said to be affable, polite and friendly. He was introduced to the football club by the vice-president, Germán Pastuschenko, who was also arrested this week.

Marbella FC was in debt and lacked support, and he rescued it. His plans were discreet rather than flamboyant: he wanted to stabilise the club financially, position it in Segunda B, increase the youth team and create a women's team.

He is known as a very cautious investor, who doesn't like to spend a single euro on something that isn't profitable. His business interests include a restaurant; he is well-integrated in Marbella business circles and has a good relationship with the authorities.

He is happy for the football club to collaborate with fundraising projects, and even let Spanish TV cameras into his luxurious mansion.

People who know him say they were very surprised to hear of his arrest.