The king is dead. Long live Ronaldo!

It’s a fairly testing task for the folks at Marca to hold just one coherent thought in their tiny little minds at any one time, never mind two. But that’s the contorting conundrum in the complex realm of Raúl that has been on the paper’s journalistic agenda ever since Florentino Pérez came back to the club last summer.

The default position for the newspaper has always been that Raúl is a magnificent man-god and anyone who suggests otherwise deserves having their still-beating heart being ripped out, Temple of Doom style.

But all that changed with the return of Pérez and the arrival of the troublesome trio of Kaká, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo - three players whose smooth passages were always going to be interfered with by Raúl’s goalscoring... er... abilities. So for a year now the paper has had to walk tippy-toe through of minefield of doom by both praising a footballer still immensely popular with the fans and fulfilling the wishes of the Bernabeu big cheeses by gentling nudging Raúl out of the club’s main gates. 

Then on Friday, with the news through that the club captain was finally going to leave, the tone of the paper could not have been perkier with the headline that CR9 was to become CR7, even though the current holder of that shirt number had still to depart. Although Marca grumbled that the ideal plan was for the Portuguese poser to wear that number on his back last season, the paper reassured its readers that “CR7 becoming CR9 did not affect his shirt sales” - something very, very important in the Real Madrid world.

But now Raúl has signed up with Schalke 04 and after a suitably sycophantic edition on Tuesday where the paper’s editorial discussed the former captain’s place in the club's history - “some shone with their talent, some with their intelligence [probably not referring to Guti - LLL], some with their character [again, not Guti - LLL], others for the love of the shirt...the number seven unites all of these virtues in one footballer” - Wednesday’s Marca was in full ‘the King is dead, long live the King' mode with the headline that Ronaldo’s premature return to training means that “Mourinho now has his CR7”.

"One day, son, all of this... oh hang on, we're away"

The paper also reports that Mourinho is about to get Kaká back again and will try and get some sort of use out of him before casting him off to the knackers' yard to be turned into glue. “The coach is going to explain what he wants from him, his role on the pitch and how he has to play. He is going to give him all of his support and affection,” enthuses Marca on Mourinho doing exactly what he is being paid to do.

BARÇA: WHERE'S THE MONEY?In Barcelona, culés are have been suffering an attack of the vapors ever since a press conference on Tuesday given by the club’s finance boss Javier Faus revealed that a supposed profit for the last season of €11.1m was actually a €77.1 million loss according to an audit performed by Deloitte. The same study also reported the club’s debt at a very footbally €442m.

“The first question that ‘socios’ must ask is clear: what is the truth? Fraud, deception, bad management or intoxication?” queries Josep María Casanovas in Sport calling for a full investigation into what the heck has been going on in the bean-counter department at the Camp Nou.

“A loss of €77m in just one year, and an accumulated debt of €500m, needs better explanations than what we’ve had so far,” agrees Xavier Rosch in Mundo Deportivo. Wonder if we'll get that explanation?

AND FINALLY...It seems that Atlético Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has grown tired of a summer constantly on the hunt for Fanni. After pursuing the Rennes full-back for a number of months now, the Rojiblancos haven't pushed hard enough for to the French club's satisfaction, and so have got their hands instead on the rather splendid €10m Deportivo defender Filipe Luis to plug the Fanni-shaped hole.

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