Our man in Spain on the leaving of Valencia...
There are few things that dismay La Liga Loca more than a footballer blubbering when announcing his departure from one club to another offering more money or a better parking space.
'Was that convincing? Did I emote?' That's roughly how the blog imagines the conversation between the player and his agent going in the aftermath of such statements.
Fortunately, there's been no such nonsense at Valencia, a club with no known enemies, due to the fact they've traditionally been too busy picking arguments with each other to bother fronting-up to anybody else. When Roberto Soldado left for Tottenham Hotspur, where he'll miss crucial chances in the Premier League over the next few years, the forward could have trotted out the usual platitudes.
'Had a great time here.'
'Future looks bright for the club without me.'
'Exciting seasons to come.'
Any of the above would have been more than adequate. Instead, Soldado left in an enormous strop, launching an attack that left some at Mestalla scratching their heads.
'I'm going as I have no confidence in the project,' fumed the new Spurs striker. 'I don't believe in the methods or project of Amadeo Salvo,' he added - a warm farewell message to the club's new president. 'I think the president over this time [the transfer saga] has told me a lot of lies,' was the parting shot, with the former Getafe legend promptly storming off to London.
Salvo got wind of this outburst when his mobile phone beep-beeped upon his arrival in New York, where the team are taking part in the International Champions Cup. 'When you are not lying it is tough when someone calls you a liar,' sighed the Valencia president, probably already regretting taking the new job in the first place. 'He told me that people did not want him at Valencia and that he would not ever wear the shirt of Valencia again,' added Salvo.
Soldado's strop appears to be based on two issues. The first was his now former club playing hardball by demanding the full €30 million transfer fee from Tottenham. The second was a dispute over a potential new deal to keep Soldado at Valencia, with Salvo eventually admitting that the side simply could not afford what was required due to a lack of funds.
Los Che managed to get by at the weekend without Soldado, though, with a 4-0 victory over Inter Milan. The scorer of the first strike in the friendly win was Ever Banega, the footballer who managed to run over his ankle with his own car when filling up with petrol. It is an injury that always sounds amusing but was probably immensely painful and distressing.
Apparently all these incidents - as well as a love of the night life - are now all firmly in Banega's past, with the Argentine midfielder now one of the captains of the club. 'He is taking on the role of leader and I think maturity has come,' commented Valencia coach, Miroslav Djukic. 'You hear stories that he is difficult but I only see a simple kid with a good attitude.'
Valencia will be looking to Banega for leadership in midfield, and a few more goals from the sulky Jonas up front. To help the Brazilian out in this task, a deal is about to be brokered with Zaragoza for the €3 million transfer of Helder Postiga, which feels like a good move to LLL. Although the departure of Soldado leaves the campaign to come looking a little different for Valencia, the footballer's departure at least saw some continuity for the Mestalla outfit: infighting, bitterness and a war of words through the press.