Barça-barmy press make first move in pre-Clásico media war
The big, bold notices splattered across the morning Marca in the run up to a meeting between Real Madrid and Barcelona usually either bring La Liga Loca to blubbering, shuddering tears of desperation or have it clapping like a sea-lion given the chance to puke fish guts over Justin Bieber.
Monday was very much the former for a tired and distressed LLL. But Tuesday sees the blog in much finer fettle and able to embrace the madness.
For those new to all this clÃÂ¡sico kerfuffle, the build-up to the twice-yearly battle in the Madrid and Barcelona press between SpainÃ¢ÂÂs top two teams rarely covers such tedious areas such as tactics, but is a mass mud-fight of taunts, insults and the kind of behaviour that would have toddlers standing hands on hips going, Ã¢ÂÂreally?Ã¢ÂÂ
But being aware that there are a fair number of CulÃÂ©s and Madridistas out there who may need arming with everything they need to know and throw ahead of MondayÃ¢ÂÂs game, LLL will attempt to cover the gist of the war of words that has kicked off.
Starting with some ammo for fans of the Camp Nou club - the general BarÃÂ§a vibe has fallen back on all the Ã¢ÂÂwe do things properly...look at our youth scheme...more than just a club...Unicef on our shirtsÃ¢ÂÂ insufferable smugness that supporters of every other club in the world - or people just queuing at the cashpoint - are subjected to from time to time.
Sport lead the way by complaining that Barcelona have not had a single penalty this season, compared to the five given to Real Madrid - evidence of the pro-Madridista bias with the league referees, of course.
The paper also boasts that BarÃÂ§a are set to start the game with eight youth team players compared to the one of Real Madrid. However the BarÃÂ§a press donÃ¢ÂÂt really have the hand of this taunting business, as hard as they try, and are already getting their collective panties in a bunch about the concept of JosÃÂ© Mourinho, a manager who is the big, bad bogeyman for Barcelona fans.
An editorial in MondayÃ¢ÂÂs edition was entitled Ã¢ÂÂIgnore Mourinho!Ã¢ÂÂ. Directly below that instruction was another that immediately disobeyed the ruling by warning of Ã¢ÂÂThe Mou Factor!Ã¢ÂÂ
Even though Sport would have welcomed the former Inter Milan man with open arms and cupcakes a couple of years ago had Pep Guardiola not got the gig, Joan Batlle puts a rather desperate boot in, by grumbling that Ã¢ÂÂthe Portuguese man has tried by all means necessary to destabilise rivals with the lowest insinuations.Ã¢ÂÂ
Elsewhere, BatlleÃ¢ÂÂs colleague also ignores the Ã¢ÂÂignore MourinhoÃ¢ÂÂ command, moaning that Ã¢ÂÂMourinho is as good a coach as he is a grand maestro of provocation.Ã¢ÂÂ
Francesc Aguilar has his sights set on Cristiano Ronaldo in comparing the Madrid man with little Leo Messi, a comparison where the BarÃÂ§a player comes out on top to no-oneÃ¢ÂÂs real surprise.
Ã¢ÂÂMessiÃ¢ÂÂs football is stratospheric,Ã¢ÂÂ gurgles the Sport scribe, Ã¢ÂÂbut he does things normally, he doesnÃ¢ÂÂt look to humiliate rivalsÃ¢ÂÂ. Apart from scoring hat-tricks against AlmerÃÂa, a team who had long since given up the ghost in SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs stonking.
Marca are holding fire for the moment, but do report that Ronaldo is fouled more often than Messi. And yes, the blog is at just as much of a loss to know what point they are trying to make. Possibly it is an implication that the Barcelona man doesnÃ¢ÂÂt get enough protection from the referee...
Despite SportÃ¢ÂÂs constant complaints that Mourinho is the great provoker who will do and say anything to win a game, it has been a fairly low key start to clÃÂ¡sico week in Castle Greyskull, with the Madrid boss suggesting that the clash really isnÃ¢ÂÂt all that. Ã¢ÂÂIt lacks the salt and pepper of a knock-out game,Ã¢ÂÂ claimed Mourinho in MondayÃ¢ÂÂs Marca. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs not decisive.Ã¢ÂÂ
This comment was a fairly rare one from the The Very Special One who has been serving a two match touchline ban in la Liga, a ban which Mourinho has rather enjoyed. Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs been my best 12 days at the club, just working with my players, no media, no press conferences.Ã¢ÂÂ
This silence is set to be broken after MadridÃ¢ÂÂs Champions League game against Ajax on Tuesday night, both by Mourinho and by the Madridista press. The BarÃÂ§a-barmy papers may have fired the first volley in the war of words, but LLL is sure that the response from the Spanish capital is going to be swift.