FFT's Spanish expert Tim Stannard reports on some suspicious reversing from the Big Two this week...
Real Madrid are the football equivalent of one of those annoyingly addictive docudramas about iffy housewives with even iffier husbands in New Jersey, or strutting Cockneys running scrap yards in the East End of London.
The storylines are largely staged and completely trivial, but nonetheless incredibly compelling, despite what's left of the viewer’s dying intellect protesting otherwise.
Indeed, LLL spent an hour on Saturday night transfixed by a TV movie of Brittany Murphy's life story, just for the wigs and uncanny way none of the actors looked anything like who they were supposed to resemble. The lead would have been perfect for a part in a biopic of literally anybody on the planet (except the star of 8 Mile).
What would really make the Santiago Bernabéu an even bigger source of popcorn-munching fun these days, though, is a season-ending finale where the club's leading characters sit on sofas and yell at each other for an hour, with the occasional walk-off or cat fight.
The latest titbit of tat in Mordor was instigated by Cristiano Ronaldo, who last week dared Spanish headline-makers to stick his suggestion that he would have done things a little different to Florentino Pérez this summer, word for word, on their front covers.
The club president responded on Friday in pure Bond villain style, after presenting the club’s accounts to the world. "(Ronaldo’s) loyalty has been unquestionable," he purred. "I have listened to everything he said, and I have no doubt that he did not want to question the policies of the club."
All that was needed was a sinister grin and the announcement that people within the club would "take care of the problem".
Duly scared out of his wits, Ronaldo tweeted on Saturday: "My words were badly interpreted. I listened to my president and I am behind him 100%. My new team-mates are the best and with them on board we have built a great squad."
Under these circumstances, LLL would like to offer a humble apology to Ronaldo, as one of those simpletons who badly interpreted the footballer's words which, as way of reminder, were: "If I was in charge, maybe I would not have done things like this."
With the joy of hindsight the blog can now see the declaration meant: "Hare Florentino, Hare, Hare," complete with orange, flowing outfits, clinging bells and smiles of complete contentment.
Nothing to see here either
At least Ronaldo had plenty of time to work on his Twitter beep-beeping backtrack, as he is currently on the sidelines missing out on international duty (Portugal lost 1-0 at home without him – to Albania).
Which is a bit like poor old Leo Messi, who pulled out of the midweek friendly with Germany last Wednesday after injuring his groin against Villarreal last week.
Except that, a day later, little Leo was reportedly able to take part in the same behind-closed-doors game against a Barcelona youth team that Luis Suárez participated in. This fact was not immediately clear, notes AS, as the 24 photos released to the media did not feature Messi at all.
"Messi’s recovery is the best possible news for Culés, so it is hard to understand why this was hidden," opines Moises Llorens, knowing full well that perhaps Barça perhaps didn’t want everyone in Argentina perhaps knowing that perhaps Leo Messi was all right after all and was turning his back on his country.
After all, that really would be news.