Cycling supersedes Marcelino’s Sevilla sacking in Spanish press

Spain’s twin cities are split over which direction to run in Tuesday morning's papers.

Over in Barcelona it’s all about Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia and Dream Boys president Sandro Rosell hobnobbing with David Cameron in Downing Street. The Culé King was in Old London Town for the Laureus awards, where Barcelona were handed yet another trinket. “Barça, the best team in the world,” purrs Mundo Deportivo’s front cover.

Football has been booted into touch like Pepe dealing with an opposition attacker (or midfielder/defender/goalkeeper/match delegate/sweet seller) in Marca and AS, with the Madrid-mad papers hopping mad over the two year suspension handed to cyclist Alberto Contador by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday, after the he failed a drugs test during the 2010 Tour de France. “The victim of a band of bureaucrats,” fumes Marca’s editorial. “CAS has lost all its credit and done irreparable damage to cycling and sport.”

There isn’t even room in the papers to complain about referees favouring Barcelona. There is, however, coverage of la Primera’s eighth managerial change of the season, the sacking of Marcelino by Sevilla following a run of seven league matches without a victory. Winning just nine of the his 32 games in charge certainly didn’t help his case either, nor did the fact that Marcelo Bielsa was the first choice for the club in looking for a replacement for Gregorio Manzano last summer.  Plus, the being deadly dull part as well.

Marcelino knew that his toast was burned on Sunday night after the 2-1 home defeat to Villarreal, admitting that “I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m sacked, but I’d understand any decision.”

“Changes in direction, obstinacy, and a lack of luck. The factors which sum up Marcelino’s disastrous phase with Sevilla,” strops José María López in Diario de Sevilla.

The lucky fella chosen to move snugly into Marcelino’s still warm seat is former Getafe boss and all around hunky so-and-so Míchel, who has a contract that runs until the end of the season, but that will renew automatically should Sevilla finish the league campaign in the top six.

LLL now suspects Manuel Pellegrini could well become change number nine in Spain’s top flight after his Málaga team were beaten 2-1 by Granada, who have put together back-to-back victories under new boss, Abel Resino. Málaga, in the meantime, are on a rotten run with just the single win in the past eight league games - and that was against Sevilla so may not count as a proper match, judging by their current form. The removal of Marcelino might not be the last bit of sacking activity in Andalusia if results don’t improve in another southern city.