Knives out for Laporta, needles out for Madrid

La Liga Loca is sitting on a sneaky suspicion that the editor of Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo may still be resting his Catalan cockles on the beach.After all, Spain dug up another Saint’s day skive this week just to allow the populace to recover from the shock of going back to work after the whole month of August off. Once again, the country proves that Catholicism has more things going for it than the cool hats. Extended pool-side partying from the paper’s big cheese is the only explanation that the blog can think off for Tuesday’s edition which marked a big old line in the sand by daring to suggest that the preening president of Barcelona is a big fat liar with pants on fire. Providing the paper’s offices have not already been wiped out by Laporta’s wet-work SWAT team, someone, somewhere is going to be dangling by their finger nails by the weekend due to the sensational slurs thrown in the Camp Nou direction.Laporta: "Eliminate them, boys"

Mundo Deportivo suggested that Laporta was full of bull when he declared over the weekend in a interview with Sport that: “we never thought about selling Eto’o.” It was all a massive media misunderstanding apparently. “We didn’t want to sell him and he didn’t want to go,” asserted the Barcelona bigwig in a revisionist reverie.This is in slight contrast to the headline-making declaration from Laporta over the summer that: “Eto’o knows the desires of the club and the manager that he has the possibility of playing at another club.” Not to mention Pep Guardiola’s recent comment that “everyone knew Eto’o was on the market.” Joan ‘Joan’ Laporta was on the end of another tongue-lashing on Tuesday, but this time from some irate supporters. Pep Guardiola had made the seemingly sane decision to field a side of reserve team players in the semi-finals of the prestigious Cup of Catalunya.

And this narked a group of fans who welcomed the club’s team coach with naughty hand gestures and booed the watching Laporta during the team’s 3-1 defeat to mighty St Andreu. It’s not easy to listen to insults,” sighed the trouser-removing titan, “but we have to defend our sporting interests.”

Guardiola: "Oi, you! Thingy!" 

Sport is continuing its excellent storytelling season from Emmanuel Petit’s intriguing autobiography. Today’s instalment concerns a post-Euro 2000 victory celebration the midfielder had with Fabien Barthez. It was a celebration which involved more football. And some booze. “We decided to have a drunk game against two Canadians. It was a big mistake. Fabien ended up with alcohol poisoning in a hotel bathroom,” recalled a chuckling Petit. Over in the Spanish capital and everyone seems to have reverted to their pre-Euro 2008 disdain and disinterest with the national team. Well, Marca has, anyway. Wednesday’s not-really-trying edition leads with the riveting story on their front page that Real Madrid’s players will have to seek permission from the club doctors should they wish to have any tattoos. And this has sparked a pensive editorial from the paper which ponders on the eternally tricky topic of “balancing individual liberty with the image of the club.” Did you get a permission slip for that?

Meanwhile, La Seleccion continues its tour of teeny-tiny stadiums - so as not to be embarrassed by acres of empty seats - with a visit to the delightful surroundings of Albacete to duke it out with Armenia.And Vicente del Bosque looks all set to go for his main tactic of giving the ball to Diego Capel and getting him to collapse in a pathetic heap at regular intervals.Still, it’s better than anything England can come up with.