FFT's Spanish expert, Tim Stannard, assesses the day's headlines as the Champions League winners go on the prowl...
It took quite a while before the nurse’s words formed a coherent, non-brain splitting phrase in LLL’s mind. Over a month in actual fact. Atlético. Have. Won. La. Liga. The phrase still doesn’t sound right. Does not compute. A bit funny. Not dissimilar to discovering that after all this time, it turns out grass tastes like chocolate. All in all it was quite enough to send a poor mind all funny and fuzzy.
The blog is not quite ready to find out how the whole Champions League business went, but it imagines that the Powers-That-Be crafted a bunch of injury time to let Real Madrid pick up their blooming Décima trophy and finally shut their traps about it, until the Undec... Unodec... 11th European Cup win talk starts up in August.
Instead, LLL is clawing its way back to reality through the familiar nonsense of Spain's sporting papers to find out how Real Madrid are getting over that whole Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos total-shambles-in-Brazil business.
It turns out that it's Germany midfielder Toni Kroos, who also plays for Bayern Munich according to LLL’s limited understanding of football, and is having a blinding time and making Real Madrid proud in the process.
Well, that’s the way it sounds in Wednesday’s Marca, with an article about Kroos' passing abilities finding its way into the paper. Indeed, it is the second time in three days that the Bayern man has appeared on the front cover, something that must be upsetting the hobbling Cristiano Ronaldo enormously.
Kroos is just one of two midfielders that the club are said to be sniffing around, with James Rodríguez also attracting attention, although it is hard to know where either are going to play unless the current Bernabéu midfield is to be torn up and dumped in a Castellana skip.
AS are also leading with the James (that's 'Hamez', to you and us) story, suggesting that the forever unhappy Angel di María might be moved on, primarily due to the constant stories in the local press about the eternally undervalued Argentine being moved on. Sami Khedira is another said to be heading towards the exit, having fallen for the curse of the defensive midfielder at Real Madrid – tolerated for a season or three before everyone grows bored and searches for a new target to abuse for not being attacking enough.
With a bunch of World Cup matches still left to be played, there's still plenty of time for Madrid stars (well, soon maybe) like Kroos and James to strut their stuff – potentially at the expense of team-mates in the form of Marcelo and Karim Benzema – and get their faces on even more front covers across the Atlantic Ocean.