Atlético Madrid - Champions of Europe?

Now regular readers may think that La Liga Loca has been at the Tuesday turps again. Or has, rojiblanco club president, Enrique Cerezo threatening to strap the blog down in front of a movie he has produced. Nevertheless, it has a genuine, sneaky feeling that Atlético Madrid are going to do very, very well in this season’s Champions League. We’re talking semi-final well.*

Now this bold declaration of faith flies in the footballing face of just about every sleight, slur and insult hurled at the Calderón club by the blog over the past couple of years in regards to Atlético’s less than admirable antics. But that was all aimed at the league version of the club - the half-arsed, can’t be bothered to defend for 90 minutes, bottling part. And it was for its own good. This season’s super-duper Champions League version has been a very different beast, indeed - cool, calm, collected and a Steven Gerrard dive from topping their group.

Gerrard robs rojiblancos of top spot

In just a few hours, Atleti are taking on Porto in a very favourable draw indeed, simply because of the scientific fact that La Liga Loca hasn’t really heard of many of the opposition players.

Just Hulk, really. And only because he has a funny name. But not as funny as the legendary Benfica keeper, Quim. AS are in the blog’s camp of optimism too due their outstanding, jaw-dropping revelation that the Atleti manager has made the effort of studying the opposition. “Abel is now working on a full written report,” informed the paper admiringly on Monday. The new Atleti manager whose record to date is one win, one draw and one defeat has come up with a cunning plan on how to move past his Portuguese opponents and face Villarreal (maybe) in the next round. “If you win the first game, then it’s harder for them to come back,” revealed the secret-giving stand-in. Barcelona are also looking for a way back to the light on Tuesday by taking on Lyon.

However, the talk in the city is still over their 2-1 home defeat to Espanyol, although Sport have attempted to raise the spirits of the culé collective with Tuesday’s headline of “attack! attack! attack!”But this fails to trump their rivals exclusive “Top Confidential” report from the previous day when Mundo Deportivo whispered that, “Pep Guardiola told his team they had his complete confidence and satisfaction for their performance against Espanyol.”

"Two defeats in 24... calm down, calm down"

To show what a very peculiar Catalan club this is, Dutch overlord, Johan Cruyff even wrote that he was “happy” about the defeat and that it came at a good time.

Moving away from one type of champions talk to another and Tuesday’s Marca is predicting that, the Turkey-living titan, Dani Güiza will be dropped from la Selección’s next squad, due to WAG issues. Now the former Mallorca man has a bit of a reputation in Spain as a ladies man and is perhaps one of the few football players to have slept with his agent (and wife) - in this case, the famous Nuria BermudézAnd this makes him a bit of a target for ‘la prensa rosa’ - a flowery name for the low-life, celebrity-obsessed reporting which dominates the country’s magazines and television schedules. They were in force at Spain’s training camp for the match against England, keeping their beady eyes on Güiza.

And if this wasn’t upsetting enough for Vicente del Bosque, the Fenerbahce player’s ex-wife revealed that she spent the night with the footballer before the clash took place. “I had some drinks and he had a couple of beers,” revealed Rocio Aranda. Now it must take something special for AS to remove the traditional picture of the nudey lady from their back pages. For the past few weeks it’s a spot that seems to have been dominated by big-busted broads that Jermain Defoe has shagged, is currently shagging, or is about to shag. But not on Tuesday.

"Hey, no picture of my former, current or future squeeze?"

That’s because the paper has decided to bore the pants of its dwindling readers with a back page devoted to sales statistics. And so has Marca.

The latter boasts that it has increased its figures over its rival, but AS fight back with the stunning statistic that the paper sells more copies in 14 provinces of Spain and four autonomous communities. La Liga Loca is about to conduct a test on which makes the most useful for absorbing cat pee. It suspects that it may be a tie.

*If you happen to be reading this around 10.30 on Tuesday night and Atlético have been thumped 4-0, the blog is, of course, just joking.

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