Spanish press ponder Champions chase
With three English teams having qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League for the third season in a row, the Spanish press have taken a teeny time-out on Thursday to sniff out the chances of the one remaining local side for local people still slugging it out in the tournament.When La Liga Loca says Ã¢ÂÂtime outÃ¢ÂÂ, the blog means donating a couple of column inches to the topic. After all, there is other important business to attend to both in Madrid and Catalunya. Sport are busy plugging XaviÃ¢ÂÂs Ã¢ÂÂautobiographyÃ¢ÂÂ My life is BarÃÂ§a - an in-depth, no holds barred, tittle-tattle telling tome that will shock the world of la Liga. Not really. As the book is sponsored by the paper and one of their Ã¢ÂÂwritersÃ¢ÂÂ helped with the scribbling, chapters such as Ã¢ÂÂJoan Laporta - whatÃ¢ÂÂs with the girlÃ¢ÂÂs name?Ã¢ÂÂ are unlikely to appear.
Xavi: No.1 bestseller. Or not
Josep Maria Casanovas writes that the treble is very much on, but is starting to get the wobbles over the six weeks or so to come. Ã¢ÂÂWhen you look at the calender for the next month, itÃ¢ÂÂs enough to give you a fright. Every three days they are playing for everything.Ã¢ÂÂ
Mundo Deportivo have begun trying to get the London-living Deco to return their calls, having spent the past six months or so blaming him and Ronaldinho for all of the Catalan clubÃ¢ÂÂs troubles last year. Meanwhile, in the inside pages, Francesc Aguilar is looking for Pep Guardiola to bring back the Ã¢ÂÂspirit of ChelseaÃ¢ÂÂ from 2005 when the team Ã¢ÂÂunfairlyÃ¢ÂÂ lost 4-2 in the last 16 second leg clash at Stamford Bridge. Ã¢ÂÂIt was in those very same dressing rooms when the players vowed to win the following yearÃ¢ÂÂs competition.Ã¢ÂÂ And so it came to pass in Paris, Dear Reader.
AS editor Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o admits that the English teams may know a little bit about playing the worldÃ¢ÂÂs game after all, and gives them a doggy biscuit for doing so.
However, he does not see them ruling in Rome come May. Ã¢ÂÂThe English play nice, attractive, energetic, solid, practical football. But none of the three teams are as good as BarÃÂ§a."
JT heads home controversial winner in 2005
The paper also continues its Ã¢ÂÂglass is half fullÃ¢ÂÂ, Ã¢ÂÂglass is half fullÃ¢ÂÂ approach to Cristiano Ronaldo.
When Sir Alex was accusing the pouting ponce of being a workshy, lazy, mercenary, sulking so-and-so the other week, the paper saw this as a very positive thing for a player whose precious, ham-loving heart is pining for the Bernabeu and the chance to play alongside Miguel Torres. AS views RonaldoÃ¢ÂÂs super strike against Porto as a taste of things to come next season for Real Madrid, of course. Marca also ponder the continued dominance of the English league but are less willing to put their cojones on the line and tip Barcelona for the title. Ã¢ÂÂA third European Cup is not going to be easy. The English teams stand in their way,Ã¢ÂÂ boomed ThursdayÃ¢ÂÂs editorial. There is praise for little old Villarreal and their Champions league exit against another English side, but few grumbles over the eventual result which saw a 4-1 aggregate win for Arsenal. Ã¢ÂÂThey leave with their heads held high,Ã¢ÂÂ write Marca, Ã¢ÂÂbut they never really had any options.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂPound for pound... the English side was better than the Submarine,Ã¢ÂÂ admit AS. In a fortnightÃ¢ÂÂs time, we will discover if it will be the same story for the current league leaders against Chelsea.
Van Persie sinks Yellow Submarine