A gung-ho Getafe and a perky Pep

When Michael Laudrup first arrived at Getafe last year, the macho men of the Spanish media were very much with the man-crush, bewitched by his winning smile, perfect teeth and luxuriant, soft hair. Except the lie-detecting La Liga Loca, of course, who saw through his skulduggery, sorcery and easy-going, relaxed manner straight away. Oh yes. It turns out that Laudrup was an evildoer of the worst kind with a broken, shard-ridden lump of granite where his heart should have been. The dastardly Dane has just performed a triple whammy of sleights against the good people of Getafe.

Dastardly Dane Laudrup settles in at Spartak

Not only did Laudrup walk out on the club after just a year but he is also reportedly unwilling to pay a penalty clause he owes for his disgraceful act of disloyalty. But that’s not all. According to the Spanish press, the new Spartak Moscow coach is also trying to steal the Coliseum’s prize jewels and lure them over to his new communist collective. Unfortunately for Laudrup, he has picked the wrong time to mess with those plucky battlers from the wrong side of the city. Getafe club president Angel Torres is already in the foulest of moods with the Argentinean national teams having broken both his goalkeepers. Oscar Ustari was crocked in the Olympics and will miss much of the season whilst el Pato will be out for a good month. And Torres is looking for pecuniary payback from the South American goalie-gobblers. “Maybe our fans can at least enjoy an Argentina game here?” hinted the president on how the offending FA can climb back into Getafe’s good books. On a roll of revenge, Torres is contemplating reporting Michael Laudrup to FIFA for failing to pay his 600,000 euro penalty clause - the cost of breaking his contract and walking out on the Coliseum club.And it is a threat that has sent Laudrup’s agent Bayrum Tutumlu scurrying to the Spanish capital to beg for forgiveness, and to unfan the flames of gossip suggesting that the Spartak manager is looking to lure Cata Díaz, amongst others, to his new side. “If Torres does complain about us, then we may have problems,” admits Tutamlu. ‘Good’ says a still heartbroken La Liga Loca. Espanyol have presented Steve Finnan to the media masses. And having been prompted by perico press types, the full-back was delighted to be joining a club, “who have recently been in a UEFA Cup final and two Copa del Rey finals.”

"Look out... the English are coming" 

Unfortunately, Mundo Deportivo referred to Finnan as British in their write-up on Tuesday - a paper centred in an area of Spain that is ever so slightly touchy on the whole nationality topic.“The Republic of Ireland is not a British island!” screams angry Toni on the comments board. “Instead, the British have occupied part of the Irish island.”

Barcelona face another night of fun in the Camp Nou with Sporting Lisbon the visitors in their opening Champions League clash. And Pep Guardiola is as cool as a cucumber despite the 18-year goal drought currently being suffered by his team. “The lack of goals doesn’t worry me too much,” shrugged perky Pep. And it doesn’t worry Johan Cruyff who said that Saturday’s performance was the best he had seen for some time.  Atlético Madrid are in Eindhoven to take on PSV and Marca reported excitedly that eager fans were at the airport to grab autographs from the rojiblanco stars. Liverpool fans, that is, who clustered around Luis García and Sinama-PongolleMarca are continuing their epic journey up Raúl’s backside and are due to have a delivery of furniture from IKEA sent there some day soon. Having announced that the Real Madrid sporting director was the number one performer in their weekend round up on Monday, the paper has splashed him on the front cover of Tuesday’s edition, lest the nation begins to forget what a footballing dream boat he really is. “The di Stefano winner will be back!” screams the paper in panting anticipation of his return to action against FC Bate on Tuesday.

"You'll never be as good as me boy... never"

As a further example that the paper’s offices must be the crystal meth capital of Spain, their graphics department has photoshopped di Stefano’s head onto an old style leather ball, making the old-timer look like some kind of Bruce Willis-tempting, world-destroying meteorite. AS are not much better in their Tuesday edition and have gone for the old staple of finding a bookie with favourable odds about Real Madrid and calling it news. The latest addition to this particular oeuvre is Tuesday’s headline boasting that “Europe is Madridista.” If you were to be desperate enough to actually read the story - and the taking one for the team La Liga Loca was - then you’d discover that Europe is actually for Chelsea.