Levante to leave Real playing with themselves

Like the very odd man currently seated at the table next to La Liga Loca in its favourite café, Real Madrid may well be playing with themselves on Sunday. In the most predictable move since both Marca and AS decided to run Cristiano Ronaldo to Madrid stories on Tuesday - honestly, we'll never grow tired of them - Levante have announced an indefinite strike, an action that will well and truly poop Real Madrid's Primera party but will have very little footballing fallout. Seated in the offices of the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE), club captain, José Manuel Rubiales announced that he had contacted the Real Madrid players to tell them that there will be a Levante shaped hole at Castle Greyskull come the weekend, unless his team-mates get "a 100% guarantee that the salaries are going to be paid."

But considering the stupendous sum they are looking for is a reported 18 million euros it would appear that - like in La Liga Loca's childhood - Real Madrid are going to have noone to play with. Although AS' editor has grumbled that his firework display could be ruined on Sunday, Marca's Roberto Gómez has put La Liga Loca into the extremely uncomfortable situation of forcing the blog to agree with him. "Levante have every right not to come to Madrid next weekend," writes revolutionary Roberto, making the blog feel like it really needs a wash.

Levante: in no mood to party at the Bernabéu this weekend 

Sevilla president José Maria del Nido may well be feeling the poke of Satan's pitchfork come his End of Days, should a statement from Antonio Puerta's family be believed. On Tuesday night, Sevilla are hosting a "Champions for Africa" charity game - a match also billed as 'a tribute for Antonio Puerta'. And that's all very nice except Puerta's family are claiming that Sevilla have failed to communicate their decision to either hold the game or seek their consent. But that's not all."Neither Del Nido or his staff have contacted us to invite us to the match that is apparently a homage to our son, so if we want to attend we will have to pay the entrance fee," reads the statement issued on Friday."Since the death of our son Antonio in August of last year, we have received numerous calls and personal visits of condolences from many clubs and players.""Neither the president Mr Del Nido, nor any member of staff on his behalf have had the kindness to contact the family, either in person or over the telephone, to express condolences."

Puerta's family: left out in cold by Sevilla for charity match 

Atlético Madrid's Champions League cheeriness has lasted less than a day with the realisation that the rojiblancos are likely to end up in pot B of the qualifying draw (depending on what Nancy and Twente do).And this leaves them with the chance of being paired up against the likes of Arsenal, Juventus and Liverpool in August's two-legged tie of terror. And the school holidays have started early in the Kingdom of Catalunya with only eight players turning up for training on Monday. There is no word on whether any of players brought in board games or not. Sport is reporting that Deco got showered and changed at half time without anyone's permission during the Mallorca match, having grown tired of being booed and barracked by the home crowd.He was one of the players who failed to turn up on Monday morning with the club announcing that he had permission to be away until Wednesday. His partner in crime, Ronaldinho, has apparently gone AWOL and has failed to turn up for his recovery training, for four days.

Deco: legitimately AWOL, apparently

Ronaldinho: just AWOL 

Meanwhile the Catalan press is still looking to string up some scapegoats with Laporta and his lackeys continuing to be the chief targets of their not inconsiderable ire - especially for Mundo Deportivo's Santi Nolla."Winston Churchill, one of the most important politicians of the 20th century (thanks for that Santi) said that if things aren't going well, then create a commission and for things to go well again, name the person responsible."

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