Pretend excitement over a pretend match

La Liga Loca was going to waffle on about Spain’s clash with Argentina on Tuesday night. Then the blog suddenly remembered that it didn’t really give a hooping hoot about international football.

And definitely not about international football friendlies.

And definitely, definitely not about international football friendlies where Víctor Valdés is given minutes, something that Marca predict will happen in El Monumental, thus making the game as pointless as getting the Andalusian-accented José Antonio Reyes to record an audiobook.

Still, the sports papers in Spain are hyping up the clash which is probably why they are read by millions every day and La Liga Loca almost certainly isn’t. Marca’s front cover claims the game is “the final that wasn’t” whilst AS deserve a kick in the nuts for their “Tiqui-Tango” headline.

In the Catalan capital, Sport see the game as being “Barça against Barça” whilst Mundo Deportivo have imaginatively gone for the exact same concept with their “Culé Duel” headline, leaving the impression that that both papers could somehow link an Andorra v San Marino match-up back to Leo Messi.

Tuesday’s Marca also leads with a slightly half-hearted celebration of 100 days of José Mourinho at the Santiago Bernabeu and his ten great innovations at the club, a tribute which waffles on about The Special One restoring pride to Real Madrid, carrying a clipboard during training and watching the odd youth team game. Nothing about the inconvenient business or winning league games, strangely enough.

For AS, the big Real Madrid story is that the club sells the most football shirts in the world - apart from Manchester United, that is - a revelation that kicked off quite a debate between Barça fans who doubt these claims and Madridistas.

The discussion was closed when one unusually intelligent poster noted that both clubs owe about one billion euros between them, despite the amount of visual pollution they are causing in the streets of the world with their shirt-flogging ways - a figure which should be of more concern to the two sets of supporters.

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Unlike Kaká, the Hércules match-fixing story has found a new lease of life with the news that a Spanish League committee dragged two of the players involved in the scandal to their offices, last week, to explain themselves.

Hércules striker Tote and Córdoba goalkeeper Raúl Navas - the pair allegedly named on a recording implicating both in a result-rigging during a second division clash last season - gave their side of the story to help the LFP decide if there is a case to be answered or not.

Tote, for one, says he was more than happy to to meet with the committee. “I went to give evidence to clear the name of Hércules and show that they are in la Primera because they deserve it.”

In an interview with AS, last Sunday, the forward denied all allegations and noted that Hércules “were in the top three all season. Our figures show that our promotion was fair.”

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In the blog’s pre-season predictions, La Liga Loca had worked itself up into quite a frenzy with the thought that an actual woman would be running a football club in la Primera and appearing on the all-important presidential ‘palco’, overexciting the usual group of pompous, blowhard men in the process.

That lady-person was set to be Yasmin Al-Sahoud, Málaga’s director general representing the club’s new owner, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Tahni. But when LLL tuned into the club’s opening clash against Valencia, Yasmin was nowhere to be seen. And that was because she had been fired, apparently for messing up a player signing.

This was strongly denied by Al-Sahoud who released a statement claiming that the club was on very sheikhy ground despite the supposed billionaire new owners due to liquidity problems with NAS, one of Al-Tahni’s group of companies.

The club’s VP and new director general, Abdullah Ghubn, dismissed her statement and said that she was fired because “she arrived as a superwoman and did everything the opposite."

La Liga Loca imagines that one or two club presidents put their toupees and corsets back in the closet with very heavy sighs after this sad news from the south coast had broken.

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