Two themes have dominated the news agenda in Spain over the past few weeks. One has been the weather. The other has been Cristiano Ronaldo. The first is nothing unusual. Every summer, with the thudding inevitability of an AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid Champions League defeat, television companies dispatch reporters to the beach to confirm that it is, indeed, very hot. And everyday men in white coats pop up to share gems of summer wisdom with the watching masses such as the brilliant advice of drinking water when you are thirsty or avoiding standing in the sun like an eejit for hours on end when it is particularly hot.
Breaking news from Spain... it's a bit warm
As Giles Tremlett notes in the very excellent 'Ghosts of Spain' people who wear white coats are afforded the greatest respect in Spain. If someone who looked only remotely like a scientist were to recommend that jamming your head into a blender was a great way to fight cholesterol, then at least 45% of the populace would be instantly decapitated. The latest wheeze by the white coats brigade - in league with the dastardly pharmaceutical industry - is to convince the female half of Spain that they have been suffering from trapped wind all their lives and if that do not take their product instantly then they will either be letting fly during board meetings or their stomachs will explode whilst doing the weekly shop. But onto Cristiano Ronaldo. On Wednesday, the story was published in the Portuguese press that the Manchester United player would be staying at Old Trafford for the next year and that he was very, very sorry for all the fuss and bother he had caused with his Madrid-tempting antics. So, you'd have thought that Marca and AS would be very much with the tail between the legs on Thursday, considering these were the two papers who droned on for decades that Ronaldo's move to Madrid was so sure that you could bet your gonads on it.
"Sorrrryyyy" - Ronnie apologises for leading Real on
But no. With more cheek than Juan Bautista Soler in a thong, both organs have brushed over their whopping errors to criticise RamÃÂ³n CalderÃÂ³n for failing to land the pouting poser. Sadly Marca's Roberto GÃÂ³mez is currently on route to Beijing - but not before listing all the very famous and important people he will be boring to tears on the plane - so was unable to comment. However, AS editor Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o has puffed out his chest to complain that Sir Alex's 'stubbornness has won' and predicts that the Real Madrid president is set to receive the hardest of times from the supposedly distraught Blanco fan base. "He will have to open his umbrella because the player is huge and expectations were high," writes RelaÃÂ±o failing to mention that the expectations were mainly set by himself and his fellow ASers. Marca warn that the club now has 25 days to come up with a plan B, which involves the purchase of a new striker, especially now that the colossal waste of space Julio Baptista looks likely to be moving to Roma. Barcelona have been happily giving Johnny America a bit of a kicking over the past few days. Having beaten Chivas 5-2 on Sunday, Pep's men opened a can of whuppass on New York Red Bulls with a 6-2 pounding.
Barca give New York Red Bulls a good seeing to
Laporta and co are still contemplating whether to bring Leo Messi back from China now that the CAS judgement has gone their way, however Sport write that the Argentinean will be staying with his team, all be it with strict instructions on what he may or may not do with the Spanish ladies gymnastics team and a jar of Sangria. JosÃÂ© Antonio Reyes is reportedly just a day away from spending the next year complaining, getting sent off, bitching and generally poncing about in Portugal with a move to Benfica. Although personal terms have yet to be agreed - apparently the greedy whiner wants to be the best paid player at the club - the one year deal looks a cert considering he has been left off Javier Aguirre's squad list for Atleti's upcoming Champions League defeat against Schalke.