Revolting Robinho on the edge
If Marca have got their facts right, for once - and let's face it, it's up there with Guti joining a book club in likely events - then it could be a highly entertaining weekend in Real Madrid's wacky world. According to the pretend paper, Robinho may be laying down his tools - and not in the 40 condoms, Brazilian night-club sense - but in the refusing to play sense. Many mischievous types may snigger that he did just this, for much of last season. And shame on you for doing so. This time Robinho may be doing it for real by painting a placard, donning a donkey jacket and yelling 'Scabs!' at his team-mates as they board their Super Cup coach for Valencia. Robinho is fed up.
Robinho: He ain't happy
Fed up of scraping by on 2.1 million euros a year when Chelsea are reportedly offering 6. Fed up of having to use his tiny, childlike fists to reach inside the coffee machine when Iker Casillas has his change swallowed. And fed up of being told to stop fannying about by Bernd Schuster. Matters came to a crunch when Robinho and his agent, Wagner Ribeiro, met with RamÃÂ³n CalderÃÂ³n over tea and scones to demand that Real Madrid accept Chelsea's 32 million euro bid. It was a demand that was turned down flat."CalderÃÂ³n said he wouldn't sell Robinho for 100 million euros. He was very emphatic," recalled Ribeiro after the get-together. Marca have also suggested that a riled Robinho was on the brink of calling his own private press conference for some spleen-venting, but was talked off that particular ledge by Pedja Mijatovic - a man who the blog imagines can be very, very persuasive when he wants to be.Despite CalderÃÂ³n's protestations, it looks increasingly likely that a player most famous for being used as punch bag by Thomas Gravesen, climbing out of windows to avoid the press and being repeatedly yelled at by Fabio Capello for doing step-overs on the halfway line, may be leaving for London. While one Brazilian is half way out the Bernabeu cat flap, another has gone completely, not that anyone will notice really. After 59 league games and a whopping 11 goals, Julio Baptista has opted for aimlessly wandering around Roma's midfield for the next four seasons after a 9 million euro deal was agreed between the two clubs.
The Beast lets fly against future employers Roma
Barcelona had an expectedly comfortable Wednesday night against Wisla Krakow with an Eto'o inspired 4-0 win. But the player who has been winning most panting plaudits is the one currently filling Messi's teeny, tiny boots - Pedrito. Except, it's now a manly 'Pedro' claim Sport on the footballer promoted from the BarÃÂ§a cantera to star over the summer. There is no word yet on whether Fernando Torres will stop being called "El NiÃÂ±o" despite being as grizzled and battle-scarred as John McCain and possessing the scoring prowess of John Edwards.
Over the past few seasons, La Liga Loca has oft written about Dani Alves diving, Dani Alves being sent off or Dani Alves moaning about wanting to leave Sevilla. But the blog is forced to scratch its head when trying to recall if it has ever written about Dani Alves being injured. And that's because it never has. It seems that the Brazilian full-back's shoulder knock picked up during Wednesday's Champions League clash is a bit of a rare event. "It's been ages since I've been injured," noted Alves, "I can't remember the last time." There has never been one, claim Sport, who say that diving Dani has not missed a match through being a bit poorly in six years.
Alves: Injured for the first time in... ever
Athletic Bilbao have something very much in common with Ever Banega's keyboard. They are both experiencing sticky patches. Athletic's 2-0 friendly defeat to Cadiz on Thursday night was the club's fourth loss in a row. "The team is not playing at the level that we have to be at by this stage," grumbled JoaquÃÂn CaparrÃÂ³s on a squad that now contains two Spanish internationals after the call ups for Iraola and Amorebieta.Another team in the doldrums is Deportivo, who were held 0-0 at home in their UEFA Cup qualifying round first-leg thingy against Hadjuk Split. "We lack freshness," sighed Depor boss Miguel Angel Lotina in an uncharacteristic bout of pessimism. "I saw the team tired and sometimes sluggish." La Liga Loca finishes off the week with the thrilling news that Marca have launched the second annual Alfredo di Stefano award - a prize where the paper's readers vote for the 50 best players of the season and a specially selected jury of 10 completely discounts their opinions and decide that Raul is the winner.