When Fabio Capello opined that Ã¢ÂÂSpain are not as strong as Brazil as they donÃ¢ÂÂt defend as wellÃ¢ÂÂ it could have been taken in two ways in the home of FIFAÃ¢ÂÂs newly-crowned number one team.
It was either going to be a measured response taking into account the England coachÃ¢ÂÂs experience and chin-stroking at the faults he identified or... to be honest... La Liga Loca is full of baloney and bull, here. It was always going to go down as well as a lettuce in ManicheÃ¢ÂÂs larder with the Spanish press, who tend to view Capello as some kind of footballing Anti-Christ. With Spain having been absolutely magnificent throughout much of SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs 2-1 win over Argentina now is a very bad time indeed to suggest that there is anyone better than Del BosqueÃ¢ÂÂs boys in Planet Football. And this is why Marca is tooting the horn on the big backlash train with a somewhat defensive JosÃÂ© MarÃÂa RodrÃÂguez huffing and puffing in MondayÃ¢ÂÂs edition that Ã¢ÂÂwhen it comes to playing football, keeping the ball, wanting it, knowing what to do with it, thereÃ¢ÂÂs no-one who can touch us.
"Not Argentina, nor Brazil, nor Holland and especially not CapelloÃ¢ÂÂs England. Spain are the best. End of discussion.Ã¢ÂÂThis accusation of footballing heresy from the former Real Madrid manager is followed up by the normally rational Roberto Palomar, who scoffs that CapelloÃ¢ÂÂs comments were a way of Ã¢ÂÂcovering up EnglandÃ¢ÂÂs terrible game against Brazil. It was fearful, rancid and conservative... it was Capello,Ã¢ÂÂ ranted the columnist on MondayÃ¢ÂÂs back page. AS have yet to react to CapelloÃ¢ÂÂs comments but their readers have.
And bless their cotton socks, the feedback on the message-board below the story has been fairly calm and collected with Zenit scribbling that Ã¢ÂÂI see Brazil as being stronger, but because they are more balanced, not because the players are better.Ã¢ÂÂJoe, for one, agrees with Capello when writing that Ã¢ÂÂif everyone maintains their current form, then the favourites for the World Cup are Brazil, Germany, Spain and England in that order.Ã¢ÂÂAside from fuming at Fabio, the weekendÃ¢ÂÂs Spanish press has been full of praise for their national teamÃ¢ÂÂs perky performance against Argentina on Saturday night, and for the dastardly fouling ways of their foes. Ã¢ÂÂSpain played, Argentina kicked,Ã¢ÂÂ moaned the headline on ASÃ¢ÂÂs website on Sunday with international footie expert Maldini noting quite rightly that the South American side had Ã¢ÂÂan alarming lack of football in midfield,Ã¢ÂÂ due to the presence of Lady Gago. Ã¢ÂÂThe team appears to be modelled more on Heinze than Messi,Ã¢ÂÂ writes the paperÃ¢ÂÂs editor, Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o. SundayÃ¢ÂÂs Marca followed a similar theme and boasted that Ã¢ÂÂArgentina couldnÃ¢ÂÂt stop Spain either with punches or with kicks,Ã¢ÂÂ before calling La Furia Roja Ã¢ÂÂMagiciansÃ¢ÂÂ on the front page. Even the Barcelona press were vaguely excited by the performance, especially considering SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs starting line-up featured five of their players - something that must still continue to give Joan Laporta the heebie-jeebies. However, SportÃ¢ÂÂs focus was on MessiÃ¢ÂÂs continuing disappointing performances for Argentina, where he seems to be deployed as a full-back from what La Liga Loca could see.
Ã¢ÂÂNot even Messi can stop SpainÃ¢ÂÂ blasted SundayÃ¢ÂÂs headline. MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs editorial on Sunday suggests that the good people of Spain can genuinely dream about winning the World Cup in South Africa, but with some reservations. And after witnessing SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs performance, that sounds like the right approach to take, thinks La Liga Loca.
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