Scaredy cat Barça continue Messi moan

"Hey you! Yeah, you! You with the girl's name! Wuss!" La Liga Loca has started the day with a couple of shandies and is feeling feisty. "Yellow belly! Cowardy Custard! Bottler!" The blog has spotted Joan Laporta - well, an imaginary version of him - and is giving the Barcelona president a piece of its tiny mind. The man with the emotional control of an overtired eight year old has shown himself to be the biggest of girl's blouses with his ongoing battle with The Man to bring Leo Messi back from the Olympic games.

"Please can we have our Messi back..." 

After FIFA ordered the Argentinean to join up with his team-mates in Beijing and Barça were handed a Champions League tie no more challenging than spending an afternoon in the company of some kittens, La Liga Loca expected Laporta to give up gracefully. But the King of Catalunya wouldn't let it lie and has made an appeal against Blatter's directive to the grand jury of all things sporting, CAS, where they can expect to get an answer one way or another by the end of the week. La Liga Loca firmly believes that football is not an Olympic sport. Instead, it wastes valuable space that could be filled with yet more entertaining stories of the entire Ruskie and American squads being booted out through various drug-related misdemeanours. And tiny people lifting very heavy things - the greatest sport in the world.But, rules are rules and FIFA says you have to give up your U-23 players, whether you like it or not. Atlético Madrid have done the decent thing and allowed Kun Agüero to participate, despite the fact that they too have Champions League business to attend to. But Laporta is instead showing how little faith he has in his squad's ability to do the business without their star player - an opinion that the man in the middle of the maelstrom does not seem to share. "Barcelona have the team to win without me," commented the Beijing-based Messi.

"I'm quite happy where I am thanks" 

The Catalan club certainly made the Madrid papers over the weekend with the story that Barça refused to board a plane bound for the States as it was owned by Air Berlin - a company that got a spot of bother in Catalunya for only having their Spanish website in Castilian. Despite having already bought the tickets, Laporta and co showed how carefully they are watching the team's finances by hiring a charter plane to get them across the Atlantic instead. After losing Wesley Sneijder for what could be six months, Real Madrid are likely to find that the price tag for Hamburg's Rafael Van der Vaart has gone up a zero or two overnight. Having previously offered a Julio Iglesias box set, a couple of legs of ham and Penelope Cruz' sister in return for the Dutch midfielder - an offer branded 'a joke' by Hamburg coach Martin Jol - Calderón and co will have to up their bid considerably to get their hands on the want-away international.

Van der Vaart: Timely capture following Sneijder injury 

Sevilla president, José Maria del Nido, took advantage of a gung-ho English press pack at the Railway Men's Cup in Moscow to have another pop at Tottenham and last year's luring of Juande Ramos. Responding to complaints from White Hart Lane that Liverpool had used dastardly tactics to bring Robbie Keane to Anfield, del Nido branded the London club as "hypocrisy personified." And that is harsh criticism indeed from such a fine, upstanding pillar of the Spanish community whose other job is to act as a lawyer for Julián Muñoz - the ex-mayor of Marbella, accused of 27 corruption charges. And not to mention his stint as lawyer for the currently pushing up daisies, Jesus Gil - the ex-mayor of Marbella, accused and found guilty of embezzling millions in tax payer's money. Atlético Madrid's Johnny "Mad dog" Heitinga has been happily taunting all those who do not have air conditioning - including an increasingly sticky La Liga Loca - with his early thoughts on life in the Spanish capital. "Life in Spain is fantastic," beamed the defender fresh from a 4-0 victory over an Alcalá de Henares Village Idiot XI. "It was over 40 degrees yesterday. I'm loving it." Git. And finally, Marca's Roberto Gómez has grown tired of getting every single footballing prediction wrong this summer, and has gone back to his old journalistic standard of flogging his friend's tat.

Want to buy a watch? 

Having used his column to plug restaurants, health clinics and even lobby Real Madrid and Atlético to play a friendly to promote some flats that his real estate magnate mate was trying to flog, Gómez has gone down a peg or two and is trying to shift some watches. In Monday's edition, Roberto reports on a deal between two of his business buddies, Atlético Madrid president Enrique Cerezo and Juan Palacios, head of the Viceroy company. It seems that lucky rojiblanco fans will soon be able to get their hands on some special club crest branded timepieces. "There are three models," says Gómez, "the prices will be 79, 80 and 99 euros."

Sound's delightful.

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