Özil's latest dream comes true

If the front cover of Marca is to be believed - which it never should be, really - Real Madrid have landed themselves an absolute charmer of a footballer in Mesut Özil. According to Wednesday’s edition, the German told his former club, Werder Bremen, that “either you sell me or I won’t play” ahead of their Champions League clash with Sampdoria on Wednesday night.

However, after days of sulky pouting by the German midfielder - although that could just be his normal expression - and constant pressure from the Spanish press to tempt him into coming to the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid announced the signing of Özil for six seasons for a reported €15 million fee, a fine price for the Bundesliga club considering the international would be a freebie pick-up in July.

Özil has told AS that he can now say with some satisfaction that “a dream of mine has come true”, although the blog did have to pinch itself and recheck Tuesday’s news, considering Özil told ‘Bild’ last October that it was a “dream of mine” to join Barcelona as “I’ve been a fan of Barcelona, ever since I was a little boy.”

Ozil's other childhood dreams included getting a haircut

Such splendid loyalty to both his former club and apparent dream side is in stark contrast to the footballer who is set to be booted out of Castle Greyskull to make room for Mesut - Rafa van der Vaart.

The Dutchman was told to 'do one', then sidelined by Madrid in the summer of 2009, before ending up as a rather useful stand-in for the groin-knacked, knee-clutching, saving-himself-for-the-World-Cup-except-he-clearly-wasn’t Kaká. And without a single whine of complaint during his exile, either.

Despite Van der Vaart claiming on Tuesday that he feels no pressure from the arrival of the footballer who will certainly give Andrés Iniesta a run for his money in the pale, giant forehead stakes, Marca have already bid a tremendously false farewell to the Dutchman in Wednesday’s editorial.

From a club with oodles of money to one with naff-all, it’s time for LLL to drop in on Xerez, the side who were desperately poor at the start of last season in la Primera and then improved to become everyone’s favourite plucky puppies in their battle for survival.

Sadly for the club that spent much of the season in administration, Xerez ’ first campaign in la Primera ended in relegation and the departure of manager, Nestor Gorosito. The new season looks like being even tougher, with the madcap Andalusian outfit still in the hands of administrators and with an owner who has gone AWOL. All the club’s institutional affairs are being handled by the side’s 82-year-old president of honour, Rafa Verdú, write Marca.

As it stands with the start of the new season in la Segunda just over a week away, Xerez do not have a president, nor vice-president. Nor a board, come to mention it. Nor a sponsor. Nor a kit. However, they do have some players which is an improved situation to last year’s when they had to drag some people off the street to make up the numbers. 

It doesnr’t look like there will be any changes to the teams that Xerez will face this season, as the Hércules match-fixing scandal - which allegedly sees the club’s owner,  Enrique Ortiz, boasting that he had paid off the opposition goalkeeper before a 4-0 win over Córdoba in May - has withered away to nothing. Which was entirely to be expected really.

The Alicante-based judge who is investigating the other - cough - business activities of Ortiz, the majority shareholder of the Alicante club who play in Alicante has ruled that he would not be releasing the incriminating tapes surrounding the club who play in Alicante as no crime has been committed according to current Spanish law and he would not be breaking the privacy of the Alicante club’s owner.

The Alicante lawman’s decision was upheld by the upper Alicante court which announced that the Spanish footballing authorities “have their own means of investigation” to deal with the affair. If this were true then it seems that they are not using them with AS reporting that a complaint opened by Cádiz - a side relegated from la Segunda and one that could benefit from any points punishment slapped on Córdoba - to the Spanish FA’s Competition Committee has been completely ignored.

Instead the footballing carpet in Spain has been lifted in preparation for the whole affair to be swept under. In doing so, it allows Hércules to complete the signing of the legendarily troublesome, discopants-wearing, nightlife-loving striker, Dani Güiza, something that is widely reported to be imminent, meaning that scandalous goings-on at the east coast club might not be over after all.

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